# Name of tidiness theorem?

1. Oct 25, 2009

### arithmetix

Dear Mathematicians
I have noticed that when minimising the space taken by objects such as kitchen equipment on benches, great efficiencies can be achieved by putting all the long skinny things together, all the round things together, and all the same shapes together in general, regardless of size.
What is the name of the general principle at work here, please? (tidiness).

2. Oct 26, 2009

### Gerenuk

I don't know the answer. I doubt there is a very general theorem, but you might be lucky searching for the following: I guess ellipsoids are a good model object to study, so maybe there is an experiment looking at how different shape ellipsoids pack together
There are some famous ones about equal shape ellipsoids.

3. Oct 26, 2009

### Redd

This isn't precisely what you were asking but it reminded me of knapsack problems:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knapsack_problem

In the realted pages there are also packing problems that kind of have to do with efficiency/ "tidiness".

Kind of in a similar vein.

Don't ask me to explain the math though, to be honest I only heard of it through

"Numb3rs" hahaha.