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Research Group for


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Our main research subjects are the elucidation of surface and interface structures of ice, and pattren formations of snow and ice crystals. Ice surfaces are covered with a quasi-liquid layer (a thin melt layer) at temperatures near the melting point. This layer significantly influences such diverse phenomena as the growth and pattern formation of snow crystals, acid snow formation, the ozone depletion reaction in the ozone layer, thunderstrom electrification, and frost heaving. In addition, we also study how the microscopic structure of the ice-water interface relates to the melt growth mechanism, the pattern formation under nonlinear and nonequilibrium conditions, and cold-tolerant mechanisms of animals. Furthermore, crystal growth experiments under microgravity affects convection and the diffusion field near growth interfaces. Also, an ice crystal growth experiment in the space shuttle is scheduled for 2002.

These research subjects are very important for the fields of basic physics and crystal growth, as well as the research fields of environmrntal science and glaciology.

Pictures of snow crystals

How are their beautiful patterns created?

Current Research Subject (in Japanese)

Special movie !

Recent Publications


Research Group for Phase Transition Dynamics of Ice
The Institute of Low Temperature Science
Hokkaido University
N19 W8, Sapporo 060-0819, JAPAN
phone: +81-11-706-6880 (Prof. Gen Sazaki)

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