Crystal Formation and the Powers of Elsa

Elsa, the princess of Arendelle, was born with the ability to create and control ice and snow. When Elsa accidentally uses her powers to develop an infinite winter, her sister, Anna takes action to change the bitter weather conditions. Frozen 2 takes us on a journey to find the origin of Elsa’s freezing powers, in hopes to save their kingdom. As Elsa and Anna search for an answer, we explore the science behind freezing and crystallization.

How does Elsa form crystals, exactly?
The geometry of crystal formation is created through the formation of a fractal. A fractal is an infinitely complex and never ending pattern, made by repeating itself at different scales. Fractals are not only found in the formation of snow crystals, but in other familiar patterns such as trees, lightning bolts, seashells, and more. The way that snow crystals form is strongly dependent on the temperature and humidity in the clouds.

What happens after she freezes something?
Essentially, many ice crystal formations are six-sided due to the bond angle of water (roughly 105 degrees), which flexes to 120 degrees when it freezes. This is the same angle as the inside points of a hexagon! These hexagonal prisms can vary in endless shapes and sizes, as Elsa demonstrates for us through her powers.

Travel with Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven on the 80-foot-diameter dome, featuring IMAX with Laser technology, at the newly renovated OMNIMAX Theater. Get views of the snow crystals formed by Elsa and help them find the origin of her powers, beginning Friday, November 29th. Tickets are available at the Science Center, online, or by calling our box office at 314.289.4400

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The Omnimax Theater reopens November 29! Come check out our new movies, new theater, and new laser projection!