Repulsionhedra and the Thomson Problem

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When repulsive particles are placed inside a ball, they settle into very interesting configurations to maximize stability. The polyhedra that they generate are approximations to solutions to the Thomson problem: to determine the optimal (lowest-energy) configurations of particles on the surface of a sphere. (In Thomson's "plum pudding" model of the atom at the time, the particles were negative electrons immersed in a positive sphere.)

Contributed by: Brian Burns (August 2012)
(Mathematica Summer Camp 2012)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



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