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U=(N/T)M*G: Snow

Physics is weird.

Of course, I mean that in the most respectful way possible, but physics is weird. Weak forces and strong forces and thermodynamics. Fluid dynamics. Quantum mechanics. I sort of understand most of it, but did science, as a whole field, really have to make the whole thing as opaque and esoteric as possible?

For instance, I was reading articles on the probability of snow falling upwards under the ice sheets covering Europa. Super cool stuff. I had to crawl through about six articles packed full of the science lingo before I figured out what was going on.

The saltwater under is so cold toward the core of this water world that little snowflakes form from the least salty spots any time something disturbs the water down in the depths, like underwater smoker stacks and shifting crust. Then the snowflakes race to the top kind of like it’s snowing. Easy right?

That’s a pretty tough line to dance along, actually. In science fiction, one has to make the science sound like science without making it so dense that readers can’t follow what an author is talking about. I struggle with it sometimes and I know many others who do.

Maybe I’m over-thinking it.

T.A. Creech

Science in the pursuit of fiction.

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