Dendritic Growth

Authors: Alex Tee Neng Heng, David G. Green

A crystal dendrite is a crystal that develops with a typical multi-branching tree-like form. Dendritic crystal growth is very common and illustrated by snowflake formation and frost patterns on a window. Dendritic crystallization forms a natural fractal pattern.

This demonstration shows blue particles dropping from the top to form tree-like structure.

How to use the simulation

You need to have Java version 1.X installed for your browser in order to run the simulation applet.

On the control panel on the right, users can set the displacement and the stickiness of the dropping particles.

  • Displacement determines how far a particle horizontally moves from it position
  • Stickiness [0, 1] determines the probability of a particle stick to a still/stable particle.


  • forms a coral-like structure using the default settings. Displacement = 5 and stickiness = 0.3
  • forms a sand pile by setting the displacement to 20 and stickiness to 0.

Links and references

Demo screenshot