Thomson Problem Solutions

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In the Thomson problem, point charges are placed on the surface of a unit sphere in such a way as to minimize the total energy of the system. These solutions place each point so that its nearest neighbors are as far away as possible.

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This Demonstration uses precalculated data from [1], which represents many years of research and optimization. Officially, the problem is only solved for 1 to 6 and 12 points; all other solutions are considered "best known." For code that solves the Thomson problem, see the Related Links.

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Contributed by: Ed Pegg Jr (January 2016)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


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Details

References

[1] D. J. Wales and S. Ulker. "Global Minima for the Thomson Problem." (Jan 4, 2016) www-wales.ch.cam.ac.uk/~wales/CCD/Thomson/table.html.

[2] Wikipedia. "Thomson Problem," (Jan 4, 2016) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomson_problem.



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