Perhaps some of you here with more experience in math & physics can give some insight about this:
I've subscribed to a weekly newsletter from Kurzweil AI. (Many of you might find it interesting; it covers futurism, technology, science, etc.) Recently, there were two consecutive articles about spiral shapes that I found curious:
Is there something inherent to spiral shapes that allows them to hold more
Well, I can tell you that DNA coiled up can hold more information because its structure maximizes surface area while decreasing the volume that it occupies. If you were to uncoil DNA then it be about a meter long. If you unwrapped the two strands, then it'd be twice as long. Mind you, this is with one molecule of DNA that can easily fit inside the tiniest organelles of one of your cells. The geometry involved in that is beyond me. I am sure somebody else has a better answer.
Another amazing material that has a lot of surface area is activated carbon. Its surface area is absolutely insane, at about 500 sq. meters per gram.
Also, you might be interested in this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menger_sponge
answered 09 Jul '12, 16:22