I'm posting one puzzle, riddle, math, or statistical problem a day. Try to answer each one and post your answers in the comments section. I'll post the answer the next day. Even if you have the same answer as someone else, feel free to put up your answer, too!
Monday, June 25, 2007
If you coated a tennis ball with glue, how many other tennis balls can you attach directly to this sticky surface?
Labels: brain teaser
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It depends on which form of sphere packing is used. I think the maximum number is 16, although there are numerous ways of packing tightly that would involve fewer balls.ReplyDelete
I thought the maximum would be 12, but I'm not a crystal expert.ReplyDelete
Place the sticky ball onto three tennis balls, like a pyramid. Place six balls around the center. Then place three more on the top.
Mike I think it might be possible actually to get 5 around the base, then the row of 6, and 5 on top. but i'm not sure either.ReplyDelete
Shouldn't you know the answer?ReplyDelete
Aside from gluing up a tennis ball, you mean?ReplyDelete
No, I don't always have the best answer to these questions. Sometimes andy (or someone else) has a better answer than I do.
In this case, I thought 12 was the best answer. But I can't disprove 16.