A Sweet Advance in Candy Packing

Objects shaped like M&Ms can snuggle together more tightly than spheres do.

By Emily Sohn, 00:00 AM February 17, 2004

Don't play with your food—unless you're doing a science experiment. Then, you might learn something surprising.

That's what happened recently when researchers started amusing themselves with M&Ms. They found that you can cram more M&Ms into a bag than gumballs of the same size. Their lab and computer experiments showed that objects shaped like M&Ms—squashed spheres—can pack together more tightly than spherical ones can.

Researchers Paul Chaikin (left) and Salvatore Torquato of Princeton University used M&Ms to study how objects pack together.

Researchers Paul Chaikin (left) and Salvatore Torquato of Princeton U...

Source URL: https://student.societyforscience.org/article/sweet-advance-candy-packing