Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Physicists Determine Density Limit For Randomly Packed Spherical Materials

Date:
June 5, 2008
Source:
City College of New York
Summary:
The problem of how many identical-sized spheres can be randomly packed into a container has challenged mathematicians for centuries. A team of physicists has come up with a solution that could have implications for everything from processing granular materials to shipping fruit.

The problem of how many identical-sized spheres can be randomly packed into a container has challenged mathematicians for centuries.  A team of physicists at The City College of New York (CCNY) has come up with a solution that could have implications for everything from processing granular materials to shipping fruit.

Writing in the May 29 edition of “Nature,” they demonstrate that random packing of hard, i.e. non-crushable, spheres in three dimensions cannot exceed a density limit of 63.4 percent of the volume.  This upper limit is a consequence of a completely “jammed” state that occurs when the materials are at their lowest energy levels, i.e. as close to inert as possible.

“Theoretically, the jammed state would be achieved by lowering the temperature of the spheres to approach absolute zero, since this would cause them to contract,” explained Dr. Hernαn Makse, CCNY Associate Professor of Physics and principal investigator.  “In real life, however, it is attained by shaking the materials.”

The findings have potential applications for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, where powders have to be mixed to a homogenous consistency, he said.  Currently, manufacturers must rely on empirical data, i.e. trial and error, to establish their formulas.  Professor Makse said his goal is to develop a theory of powders that could enable manufacturers to more efficiently develop new products. 

Two of Professor Makse’s Ph.D. students, Chaoming Song and Ping Wang, collaborated with him on the investigation.  Mr. Song completed his degree requirements in 2007.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by City College of New York. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

City College of New York. "Physicists Determine Density Limit For Randomly Packed Spherical Materials." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080602114657.htm>.
City College of New York. (2008, June 5). Physicists Determine Density Limit For Randomly Packed Spherical Materials. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080602114657.htm
City College of New York. "Physicists Determine Density Limit For Randomly Packed Spherical Materials." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080602114657.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — Magic Leap isn't publicizing much more than a description of its product, but it’s been enough for Google and others to invest more than $500M. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins