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Topic: Kissing Numbers
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Ed Dickey

Posts: 11
Registered: 12/6/04
Kissing Numbers
Posted: Apr 19, 1995 5:39 PM
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A few weeks ago I posted a question related to sphere packing and kissing
numbers. This led to a bit of humor from my son that I thought some of you
might enjoy.

With typical 8 year-old bravado, my son occasionally asks me to pose "hard"
questions for him to answer. As a more-or-less typical father, I decided
to pose an unresolved mathematical problem. We had talked about circle and
sphere packing a few weeks earlier so I smugly asked "What's the kissing
number for spheres in the 4th dimension." With the timing of Jack Benny,
he responded: "1-800-KISSING."

Much better than the right answer. You can imagine my relief that he
didn't start is with "1-900."

Ed Dickey

For those who may have not followed this thread, the kissing number for
spheres in 4-D is known to be either 24 or 25 but it remains an open
problem which one.

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