Sphere packing: Tiny balls fit best inside a sausage, physicists confirm


Simulations show microscopic plastic balls within a cell membrane

Marín-Aguilar, S., Camerin, F., van der Ham, S. et al. 2023

What is the most space-efficient way to pack tennis balls or oranges? Mathematicians have studied this “sphere-packing” problem for centuries, but surprisingly little attention has been paid to replicating the results in the real world. Now, physical experiments involving microscopic plastic balls have confirmed what mathematicians had long suspected – with a small number of balls, it is best to stick them in a sausage.

Johannes Kepler was the first…

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