Is random close packing of spheres well defined?

Phys Rev Lett. 2000 Mar 6;84(10):2064-7. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.84.2064.


Despite its long history, there are many fundamental issues concerning random packings of spheres that remain elusive, including a precise definition of random close packing (RCP). We argue that the current picture of RCP cannot be made mathematically precise and support this conclusion via a molecular dynamics study of hard spheres using the Lubachevsky-Stillinger compression algorithm. We suggest that this impasse can be broken by introducing the new concept of a maximally random jammed state, which can be made precise.