Communication: A packing of truncated tetrahedra that nearly fills all of space and its melting properties

Yang Jiao, Salvatore Torquato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


Dense polyhedron packings are useful models of a variety of condensed matter and biological systems and have intrigued scientists and mathematicians for centuries. Here, we analytically construct the densest known packing of truncated tetrahedra with a remarkably high packing fraction 207208 0.995192, which is amazingly close to unity and strongly implies its optimality. This construction is based on a generalized organizing principle for polyhedra lacking central symmetry that we introduce here. The holes in the putative optimal packing are perfect tetrahedra, which leads to a new tessellation of space by truncated tetrahedra and tetrahedra. Its packing characteristics and equilibrium melting properties as the system undergoes decompression are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number151101
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 21 2011
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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