Science & Technology
Scientists solve spaghetti-snapping mystery
August 17, 2018 | 22 comments
Can you snap a piece of spaghetti neatly in two ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Dira0101
The reason why spaghetti won't snap in half without breaking in to multiple pieces has finally been found.
The problem, which gained prominence when Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman famously attempted to solve it back in the 1950s, has managed to perplex scientists for decades.
The concept is remarkably simple - why does a piece of dry spaghetti break in to several pieces when you attempt to snap it in half instead of neatly breaking in to two ?
Now, at last, a new study has not only solved why this happens, but has also found a way to prevent it.
The key lies in the fact that when the noodle breaks in one place, it triggers waves which travel down the length of the pasta strand and temporarily increase its curvature at other points - leading to multiple breakages.
To prevent this from happening, the secret is to twist the noodle before you snap it, which prevents the secondary waves from causing additional breaks.
It might not be rocket science, but at least the age-old mystery has finally been solved.
| Comments (22)