Discrete & Computational Geometry

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 1–51 | Cite as

Sphere packings, I

  • T. C. Hales


We describe a program to prove the Kepler conjecture on sphere packings. We then carry out the first step of this program. Each packing determines a decomposition of space into Delaunay simplices, which are grouped together into finite configurations called Delaunay stars. A score, which is related to the density of packings, is assigned to each Delaunay star. We conjecture that the score of every Delaunay star is at most the score of the stars in the face-centered cubic and hexagonal close packings. This conjecture implies the Kepler conjecture. To complete the first step of the program, we show that every Delaunay star that satisfies a certain regularity condition satisfies the conjecture.


Convex Hull Dihedral Angle Unit Sphere Analytic Continuation Solid Angle 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MathematicsUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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