Same reading passage, different question.
On New Year’s Day in 1610, the astronomer Johannes Kepler presented his patron John Wacher, Counsellor to the Imperial Court, a little book entitled The Six-Cornered Snowflake. It was also the first recorded step toward a mathematical theory of natural form.
Why, asks Kepler in his little treatise, do snowflakes fall as six-cornered starlets, “tufted like feathers”? There must be a cause, he asserts, for if it happens by chance, then why don’t snowflakes fall with five corners or with seven? Casting about for an answer, Kepler considered other hexagons in nature: the shape of the cell in a honeycomb, for example. He shows that a hexagonal architecture for the honeycomb exactly suits the bee’s purpose, for (as Kepler proves) the hexagon is the geometrical figure that enables the bee to enclose a maximum volume of honey with a minimum of wax.
Kepler claimed that the honeycomb “architecture” was primarily determined by