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Still Waters

Mathematicians solve famed spaghetti mystery

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Still Waters

If you happen to have a box of spaghetti in your pantry, try this experiment: Pull out a single spaghetti stick and hold it at both ends. Now bend it until it breaks. How many fragments did you make? If the answer is three or more, pull out another stick and try again. Can you break the noodle in two? If not, you're in very good company.

The spaghetti challenge has flummoxed even the likes of famed physicist Richard Feynman '39, who once spent a good portion of an evening breaking pasta and looking for a theoretical explanation for why the sticks refused to snap in two.

https://phys.org/news/2018-08-mathematicians-age-old-spaghetti-mystery.html

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South Alabam

It may sound silly, but I suppose even learning the why of this might be applied to a real scientific use or solve another scientific mystery some day.

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Still Waters
8 minutes ago, South Alabam said:

It may sound silly, but I suppose even learning the why of this might be applied to a real scientific use or solve another scientific mystery some day.

That's what they're thinking as well.

Quote

The researchers say the results may have applications beyond culinary curiosities, such as enhancing the understanding of crack formation and how to control fractures in other rod-like materials such as multifiber structures, engineered nanotubes, or even microtubules in cells.

https://phys.org/news/2018-08-mathematicians-age-old-spaghetti-mystery.html

 

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South Alabam
1 hour ago, Still Waters said:

That's what they're thinking as well.

 

Dang, I stopped reading before that paragraph, thanks :)

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Imaginarynumber1

3bf_li.jpg

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susieice
Posted (edited)

I grasp a small bundle of spaghetti firmly with both hands towards center to break in half. Still there are splinters.

Edited by susieice
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pallidin
On 8/13/2018 at 6:40 PM, susieice said:

I grasp a small bundle of spaghetti firmly with both hands towards center to break in half. Still there are splinters.

FIRMLY twist after grasping, only THEN break-in-half.

That's what's I'm reading anyway.

Reduces fragmentation, but not necessarily stops it all together. 

Haven't tried it yet.

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susieice
Posted (edited)

I always break spaghetti in half. It's easier to eat that way instead of in long strands. Snap it in half. You will still get some little pieces. Most of it will break alright.

Edited by susieice

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Timothy
2 hours ago, pallidin said:

FIRMLY twist after grasping, only THEN break-in-half.

That's what's I'm reading anyway.

Reduces fragmentation, but not necessarily stops it all together. 

Haven't tried it yet.

Seems, from the article, it’s only applicable to a single strand of spaghetti at a time. And it sounds like it would require a bit of force to twist sufficiently. It would be impossible to subject a bundle of individual strands to the force required. 

So it might be a bit time consuming if you’re wanting to cook a bundle. 

@susieice, I just use a bigger pot, no breaking required!

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pallidin

Has anyone else somehow instinctually twisted their bundle of raw spaghetti prior to breaking?

I have, and have no idea why.

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susieice

I just hold it and snap it in half. I always break my spaghetti Timothy. It just made it easier for my kids to eat when they were little and I've just kept doing it. One at a time would be way too time consuming! Maybe the next time I make spaghetti, I'll try it. I've been going with rotini or rigatoni lately.

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Timothy
5 hours ago, pallidin said:

Has anyone else somehow instinctually twisted their bundle of raw spaghetti prior to breaking?

I have, and have no idea why.

Did not think about this, but yes, and yep I don’t know why! 

I feel like it was to make less mess but that could just be because of what I’ve read in this thread.

5 hours ago, susieice said:

I just hold it and snap it in half. I always break my spaghetti Timothy. It just made it easier for my kids to eat when they were little and I've just kept doing it. One at a time would be way too time consuming! Maybe the next time I make spaghetti, I'll try it. I've been going with rotini or rigatoni lately.

Don’t tell anyone; but I still do cut up my spaghetti with a knife and fork after it’s served, like when I was young, because it’s easier and more satisfying for me. Lol, don’t judge. :lol:

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SpaceBumZaphod

I wonder how much tax money was spent to find the answer to this useless question.

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DirtyDocMartens
1 hour ago, SpaceBumZaphod said:

I wonder how much tax money was spent to find the answer to this useless question.

If you read the article, you'll notice right away that it was a grad student project; in other words, new scientists are learning how to do better research. Usually, students cover the cost of grad school with financial aid, scholarships, or grants. Not much tax money is directly spent on projects like these.

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pallidin
5 hours ago, SpaceBumZaphod said:

I wonder how much tax money was spent to find the answer to this useless question.

Useless? Not at all.

For example, I can easily envision further, more advanced studies in this to, say, help reduce the amount of hazardous supersonic fragmentation debris from turbine engine failure... by possibly applying a calculated pre-torsion dynamic to the blades.

Could save people's lives during a flight experiencing gross turbine engine failure.

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pallidin
Posted (edited)
On 8/17/2018 at 10:43 PM, susieice said:

I just hold it and snap it in half. I always break my spaghetti Timothy. It just made it easier for my kids to eat when they were little and I've just kept doing it. One at a time would be way too time consuming! Maybe the next time I make spaghetti, I'll try it. I've been going with rotini or rigatoni lately.

Yummmmmmm....

I do like a good pasta meal.

I'm thinking this week at trying my hand at a good beef-tip stroganoff recipe.

I need to get that sauce down right... no pre-packaged sauce... I want it as authentic and yummy as possible.

I've been getting some great clues on the Web. Will see how it goes when I get around to it, shortly.

I do know that quality ingredients, and fresh ingredients for the sauce are of paramount importance.

No pre-packaged dry sauce that you add milk too.

I have had good luck with other homemade pasta meals via Betty Crocker online, such as tuna casserole (yummy), but I'm also looking elsewhere on the Web for exceptional pasta recipes.

And I am "this close" to trying my hand at making my own fresh pasta from scratch as well. I've heard/read that it's not hard at all... I just haven't done that yet.

Imagine an entire pasta meal (of choice) made nearly 100% from scratch and fresh ingredients!!!!

Dang it! Now I'm hungry.

Edited by pallidin
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freetoroam

Mathematicians solve famed spaghetti mystery

well i must say this is the first time i have heard about this mystery.

i put spaghetti in hot water,  give it a couple of seconds, no more than that, then bend it with a spatula, it breaks in 2. 

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pallidin
Posted (edited)

And for the beef tips themselves, I'm thinking of using rib-eye steak (I love rib-eye), cut into strips and marinating with a quality homemade sauce and/or wine whilst in a stove-top pan.

I need to research the marinating sauce and process. This is a work in progress...

Edited by pallidin
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pallidin
4 minutes ago, freetoroam said:

Mathematicians solve famed spaghetti mystery

well i must say this is the first time i have heard about this mystery.

i put spaghetti in hot water,  give it a couple of seconds, no more than that, then bend it with a spatula, it breaks in 2. 

Good. Never tried that... always broke it before going into the boiling water.

Will have to try that.

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susieice

I always make my own sauces. I can control what goes into it that way. I'll have to try that freetoroam. I always break them first.

Tomorrow I'm going to make Haluski with homemade noodles. Same ones I use when I make pepper pot. 

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Emma_Acid
On 13/08/2018 at 9:51 PM, South Alabam said:

It may sound silly, but I suppose even learning the why of this might be applied to a real scientific use or solve another scientific mystery some day.

Almost ALL science is useful, even when wrong. 

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pallidin
On 8/21/2018 at 9:22 AM, Emma_Acid said:

Almost ALL science is useful, even when wrong. 

Yes indeed!

 It's sometimes called "basic research"; an invaluable conjugate to both science and technology.

One need look no further than the fascinating way in which the concept for the now ubiquitous microwave oven was developed... basic research regarding intense radio waves, and in one session the personal chocolate bar of a researcher started melting...

Eventually, and directly from that event, the microwave oven was born.

And you know the company 3M?

Well, they have an entire bank of research chemists spending all day doing weird stuff with chemicals... to be evaluated for market usefulness by senior staff.

The revered "Post-It Note"... the chemicals used... was one of many discoveries by 3M "basic researchers"

I could easily list literally thousands of examples in which "basic research" directly or substantively indirectly led to the development of many things we enjoy now.

So, uhhhhh.... THERE.

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pallidin

How dare I end my thoughts without quality music! My bad.

So... Enjoy!!!

(Paul McCartney & James Corden)---"Hey Jude"

 

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