Marbles

Marbles are often touted as a packing material, but are actually one of the worst available, because the sphere is the solid with the lowest possible surface area. The surface area of a spherical marble is ftD2, where D =diameter, K is the Greek letter (Pi) representing the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, and the volume is TCD3 / 6.

Suppose we can pack N marbles into our column, and that this column has a volume V. The total surface area of all these marbles is NftD2 and their combined volume is NTCD3 / 6.

The surface area these marbles can offer in the packed volume V of our column is the factor we're interested in, so let's define this term: the surface/volume ratio.

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