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Math: How Many Golf Balls Would Fit In A School Bus?

It's apparently a question that Google sometimes asks during job interviews, and here's one response that seems sort of plausible (not that I would know).  

ScreenHunter_12 Nov. 09 13.21
Your turn.  Via Atlantic Wire (my new favorite aggregator).

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Well 660,000 balls is the upper maximum, assuming no space in between the balls. But he just guesses at the lower maximum.

The lower maximum occurs if the balls are in rows and stacked directly on top of each other - in other words, maximal white space between balls. In which case the volume is that of a cube 1.7 inches on each side.

width = (8 feet * 12 in/foot) / 1.7 inches = 56.47 balls wide
height = (6 feet * 12 in/foot) / 1.7 inches = 42.35 balls high
length = (20 feet * 12 in/foot) / 1.7 inches = 141.17 balls long

Gives us: 56 x 42 x 141 = 331,632 balls

So a school bus filled with balls would contain no fewer than 331,632 not so tightly packed balls

It's not clear you'd be able yo eliminate more than half the empty space by packing them more tightly, so the estimate of 500,000 might be a bit high. I'd be inclined to say closer to 450,000

A school bus is WAY longer than 20 feet. All the rest of the guessing and math is meaningless with such poor initial data. The correct answer is 719,533.

I at 1st guessed 200,000 then 600,000! Thank you for doing the math for us.

1. 20 feet is too short for almost any bus (a SUV can be 14 feet)
2. I would think 6 feet is way too low for a bus (6 feet guys can walk in it, or can't they?
3. I would think a school bus is quite a bit wider than 8 feet.
4. Your computation of the volume of a golf ball is incorrect. Volume = 4/3 π r^3, not 4/3 π r.
5. The densest 3D sphere packing fills about 75% of space. That makes the guess of replacing 660K by 500K very reasonable.

who gives a shit?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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