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Homework Help: Ping pong ball packing?

  1. Sep 18, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Estimate the number of ping pong balls (of radius 2cm) that would fit into a typical-sized room (without being crushed). A typical room is 17ft x 17ft x 7ft.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I tried a couple things:
    1. After converting all dimensions to cm, I tried to see how many cubes of edge length 4cm would fit in the room.
    2. I used a "spherical packing" method where I found the total volume of the room and multiplied it by .70.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 18, 2012 #2


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    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    What were the results of what you have tried?
  4. Sep 18, 2012 #3


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    Homework Helper

    4 cm spheres can be packed closer together than 4 cm cubes. You'll need to figure out a pattern for the packing.
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