BTW, I used to work for a guy who had several good solutions for packing spheres. He used them for designing composites (for example, what mixes of sizes of gravel to use for certain types of concrete). One involved selecting spheres from the chosen mix at random and dropping them into a virtual cylinder and letting them settle. Sure, he wasn't proving the maximally tightest possible packing. But he was able to make good predictions about how certain mixes of sizes of spheres would pack in practice.
He also sometimes repeated the experiment of make a bunch of spheres, put them in a bag, squeeze the bag for a few days, poor wax in, let it cool, remove bag, analyze positions of spheres.
Don't let someone's proof that some problem is impossible to solve prevent you from solving the problem well enough to get your work done!
(but my friends call me "Tye")
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