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332618.  Thu May 08, 2008 6:38 am Reply with quote

Given the margins of error are very large, I think that quoting 600 as a magical figure is a little over-optimistic. You might say something more like:

The number of snowflakes distinguishable from each other under small power magnification is probably of the order of a 'nonillion' - that is ten to the power of thirty. A back of envelope calculation will show that it is not impossible for this number of snowflakes to have fallen on Earth since it was formed. It is therefore possible that two such indistinguishable snowflakes have formed. However you would have to have examined a good proportion of the nonillion flakes to confirm this falling over the 4.5 billion year history of the Earth. The chances of one individual observing two the same are therefore infinitessimally small.

Please feel free to dress me up as an 'elf' as you wish!


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