Ukichiro Nakaya was the first person to perform a true systematic study of snow crystals, which resulted in a giant leap in our understanding of how snow crystals form. Nakaya's real triumph, however, came from growing artificial snow crystals in the laboratory under controlled conditions. Trained as a nuclear physicist, Nakaya was appointed to a professorship in Hokkaido, the North Island of Japan, in 1932, where there were no facilities for nuclear research. Undaunted, Nakaya turned his attention to snow crystals, which were locally very abundant. He then made a superb series of very detailed observations of all types of frozen precipitation, clearly identifying and cataloging all the major snow crystal types. Nakaya's main work was published in 1954 in a book “Snow Crystals: Natural and Artificial”. Nakaya Ukichiro received the Japan Academy Prize in 1941.

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