Apollonian packings as physical fractals
The Apollonian packings (APs) of spheres are fractals that result from a space-filling procedure. We discuss the finite size effects for finite intervals s is an element of [s(min), s(max)] between the largest and the smallest sizes of the filling spheres. We derive a simple analytical generalization of the scale-free laws, which allows a quantitative study of such physical fractals. To test our result, a new efficient space-filling algorithm has been developed which generates random APs of spheres with a finite range of diameters: the correct asymptotic limit s(min)/s(max) -> 0 and the known APs' fractal dimensions are recovered and an excellent agreement with the generalized analytic laws is proved within the overall range of sizes.