According to a paper in the new issue of Science, researchers were surprised to discover that M&Ms randomly dumped into a bowl pack together much more densely than spheres. Why? Aspherical ellipsoids like M&Ms can touch eleven neighbors when dumped together while spheres only saddle up to six. Understanding how particles pack together can help scientists develop new and denser materials, like ceramics for heat shields. Link
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.