Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Tyndall Figures formed in Crystallographic Plane Perpendicular to Basal Plane of Ice Crystals


SINCE the classical work by Tyndall1, the liquid figures in ice crystals caused by internal melting have been well known as ‘Tyndall figures’. Recently, Nakaya2 and Krüger3 examined in detail the Tyndall figures formed in the crystallographic basal plane of ice crystals, namely, dendritic figures with such hexagonal symmetry as a six-petalled flower or a plane dendritic snow crystal. However, no attention has been paid to the Tyndall figure with no hexagonal symmetry but rather tetragonal, in spite of the fact that such figures can be seen in the original sketch by Tyndall as shown by the arrows in Fig. 1. (Since the original book by Tyndall is not available, this figure is reproduced from Krüger's paper4.) I had a chance to observe such figures during experiments on internal melting of ice samples cut from the stratified ice of Fletcher';s Ice Island, T–3 (ref. 5). The production and observation of Tyndall figures were carried out by the same method as that of Nakaya2. The temperature of the ice samples was considered, to be nearly equal to 0° C, since melting occurred on the surfaces of ice samples during the experiments carried out in a room warmer than 0° C.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Tyndall, J., Proc. Roy. Soc., A, 9, 76 (1858).

    Google Scholar 

  2. Nakaya, U., Res. Paper 13, Snow Ice and Permafrost Research Establishment (1956).

  3. Krüger, G., unpublished report (I), Physikalisches Institut der Technischen Hochschule, Stuttgart (1956).

  4. Krüger, G., Photographie und Forschung, 8, 3 (1955).

    Google Scholar 

  5. Muguruma, J., and Higuchi, K., J. Glaciology, 4, 709 (1963).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Nakaya, U., Snow Crystals (Harvard Univ. Press, 1954).

    Book  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

HIGUCHI, K. Tyndall Figures formed in Crystallographic Plane Perpendicular to Basal Plane of Ice Crystals. Nature 202, 485–487 (1964).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing