distribution of points on a sphere



 The original question is:
 >From: Dongchul Lim <lim #*at*# rani.chem.yale.edu>
 >Subject: Random Distribution of Points on a Sphere
 > Hi fellow chemists,
 >This may fit better in comp.graphics, but someone in this group
 >may have experienced it already. So here it goes.
 >I want to generate points on the surface of a sphere as randomly
 >as possible. These points may be used for drawing van der Waals
 >surface of an atom. I tried with symmetrically distributed points
 >(generated by varying phi and theta, etc), but due to symmetry,
 >the points looked like marching ants at certain angles.
 >Since many of symmetrically distributed points are likely to be
 >overlapped when they are placed in 2-D screen, increasing the
 >density of VDW points would require unnecessarily large number
 >of sphere points. Random distribution of points would help
 >minimizing the number of points required and will give a better
 >appearance.
 >any ideas?
 >DCL
 >lim #*at*# rani.chem.yale.edu
 To Lim:
 There are several ways to get points on a sphere with even distribution.
 For example, vertics and (projects of) face-centers of
 pentakisdodecahedron are 92 points on the sphere. In this way,
 you can have more or less. Please see J.Chem.Phys. 97(1992)4162 for
 92 points, see J.Compt.Chem.8(1987)778 for 60 points.
 Bingze Wang