Candy Science: M&Ms pack more tightly than spheres | Science News

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Candy Science: M&Ms pack more tightly than spheres

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12:07pm, February 11, 2004

Pouring M&Ms into a bowl leads to a marvel of packing efficiency, a team of sweet-toothed scientists reports.

Using bench experiments and computer simulations, the team has found that squashed or stretched versions of spheres snuggle together more tightly than randomly packed spheres do.

This surprising result could help scientists better understand the behavior of disordered materials ranging from powders to glassy solids, says Princeton University chemist Salvatore Torquato. The finding could also lead to denser ceramic materials that might make for improved heat shields for furnaces and reduced-porosity glass with exc

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