Coauthored by one of the creators of the most efficient space packing solution, the Weaire–Phelan structure, The Pursuit of Perfect Packing, Second Edition explores a problem of importance in physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, and engineering: the packing of structures. Maintaining its mathematical core, this edition continues and revises some of the stories from its predecessor while adding several new examples and applications.
The book focuses on both scientific and everyday problems ranging from atoms to honeycombs. It describes packing models, such as the Kepler conjecture, Voronoï decomposition, and Delaunay decomposition, as well as actual structure models, such as the Kelvin cell and the Weaire–Phelan structure. The authors discuss numerous historical aspects and provide biographical details on influential contributors to the field, including emails from Thomas Hales and Ken Brakke.
With examples from physics, crystallography, engineering, and biology, this accessible and whimsical book touches on many aspects of packing objects. It will help you understand components of packing and aid you in the quest for the perfect packing solution.
Prefaces. How Many Sweets in the Jar? Loose Change and Tight Packing. Hard Problems with Hard Spheres. Proof Positive? Disordered Packings. Sands and Grains. Divide and Conquer: Tiling Space. Peas and Pips. Enthusiastic Admiration: The Honeycomb. A Search for Structure. Toils and Troubles with Bubbles. Bubbles in Beijing. The Architecture of the World of Atoms. Apollonius and Concrete. Packings and Kisses in High Dimensions. The Sweets in the Jar, the Pebbles on the Beach. The Giant’s Causeway. Finite Packings and Tessellations, from Soccer to Sausages. Odds and Ends. Appendices. Index.