Kenneth G. Libbrecht

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Kenneth Libbrecht signs a book.

Kenneth G. Libbrecht (born June, 1958)[1] is a professor of physics and department chairman at the California Institute of Technology.


Libbrecht received a B.S. in physics at Caltech in 1980. He was originally trained as a solar astronomer, studying under Robert Dicke at Princeton University and received his Ph.D. in 1984.[2] However, much of his recent research has focused on the properties of ice crystals, particularly the structure of snowflakes. In addition to his professional papers, he has published several popular books illustrating the variety of snowflake forms:

  • The Snowflake: Winter's Secret Beauty (with Patricia Rasmussen photography)
  • Ken Libbrecht's Field Guide to Snowflakes
  • The Little Book of Snowflakes
  • The Art of the Snowflake: A Photographic Album

Libbrecht won the 2004 National Outdoor Book Award (Nature & Environment category) for The Snowflake.[3] Libbrecht was a scientific consultant on snowflakes for the 2013 Film Frozen.[4]

Four of Libbrecht's snowflake pictures were selected by the United States Postal Service as designs for stamps for the 2006 winter holiday season, with a total printing of approximately 3 billion stamps.[5] In 2010, Libbrecht was the recipient of the Lennart Nilsson Award. In conjunction with the award, the Swedish postal service, PostNord, released a series of stamps featuring some of his images of snowflakes.[6]


  1. ^ "Ken Libbrecht CV". Retrieved 2021-12-01.
  2. ^ Libbrecht, K. G. (1984). The shape of the Sun (PhD). Princeton University. Bibcode:1984PhDT.........3L.
  3. ^ "2004 Winners of the National Outdoor Book Awards". Retrieved 2021-12-01.
  4. ^ Olsen, Erik. "The scientist who makes twin snowflakes". Quartz. Retrieved 2021-12-01.
  5. ^ Libbrecht, Kenneth G. "Snowflake Stamps". Retrieved 2021-12-01.
  6. ^ "Frimärken gnistrar av snökristaller". (in Swedish). Retrieved 2021-12-01.

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