Ester Dalvit

Post-doc
Mathematics Department, University of Trento
I use computer graphics to present and explain mathematical concepts in an appealing way both for mathematicians and non-specialists. Computer aided visualization is the place where I can merge my love for mathematics (especially topology), communication of science, computer play and art.
My movies are created with the open source software POV-Ray.
Symmetries in a snow crystal
00:01:54
2013
Snow crystals have an amazing variety of shapes, but their structure is always the same: they have the same symmetry of a regular hexagon. A single slice is enough to reconstruct the whole crystal, using only reflections (1, 2, 3, 4 or 6 reflections, drawn in red in the movie) or rotations (of 60° or multiples, drawn in yellow in the movie).
In mathematical terms, we can say that the symmetry group of a snow crystal is dihedral of order 12.

I realized this short movie for the Science Museum of Trento, Italy (http://www.muse.it), where it is currently displayed together with an exhibit inviting visitors to play with mirrors to understand reflections and symmetries.