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Kissing Numbers
Posted:
Apr 19, 1995 5:39 PM


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 yearold bravado, my son occasionally asks me to pose "hard" questions for him to answer. As a moreorless 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: "1800KISSING."
Much better than the right answer. You can imagine my relief that he didn't start is with "1900."
Ed Dickey
For those who may have not followed this thread, the kissing number for spheres in 4D is known to be either 24 or 25 but it remains an open problem which one.



