This might come as quite a shock to your kid, but pizza is just math you can eat. And geometry is not only why you’ll never buy your family a small pizza again, it’s the reason people have been folding slices into their mouths since the 19th century. Now, according to a research paper, numbers can also teach you how to cut a better slice. Sadly, it won’t save you from burning the roof of your mouth.
Mathematicians from the University Of Liverpool recently experimented with a method of cutting called monohedral disc tiling, where each piece of resulting pie (or “tile”) is the exact same shape and size. Traditionally, a pizza is sliced with straight “radial cuts” through the center to form triangles. (Unless you’re from the midwest, where it’s hip to be a square.) This technique, however, uses more complex cuts. And while it’s been tried on pizza before, it had only successfully yielded 12 slices. (Booo.) Until now, when number munchers discovered they could cut similarly curvy slices to yield nearly an infinite number of pieces. That’s right, pizza infinity.
Essentially, researchers took the original monohedral tessellation diagram and cut more intricate shapes, creating wedges in the slices that were still congruent and fit in a circle. Unfortunately, they did this mostly for the love of math. Recreating it at home could be a challenge with your simple pizza cutter, and asking your local pizza joint about their tessellation techniques will only get you a pie with “nerd” spelled in pepperoni.
If all this leaves a bad taste in your kid’s mouth, just wait until they see what math does to cake cutting. The good news is that this might be what finally gets your kid to eat their vegetables — if only to get all the learning to stop.
[H/T] Popular Science