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Snowflakes in record numbers?

I’d estimate that 46 quadrillion snowflakes fell on Boston in the weekend’s storm.

Thirty-five years ago WGBH ran a contest to estimate how many snowflakes had fallen on Boston during the Blizzard of ’78. My father, Jack Tessman, a Tufts physics professor, won with his calculation of 50 quadrillion snowflakes.

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As he commented at the time, it’s lucky no two snowflakes are identical, as that would have made them much harder to count.

Debora Bolter


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