Mathematicians Have Found Crazy New Ways To Cut Pizza Into Equal Slices

Mathematicians Have Found Crazy New Ways to Cut Pizza Into Equal Slices

Cutting a pizza can be a stressful experience. Are the slices equal? Now, a team of mathematicians has found some new ways to cut pizzas into exotic slices, while still ensuring that the all-important size considerations are met. The slicing of pizza is an oddly well-researched area of mathematics, principally because it has less to do with pizza and more to do with circular geometry. But that doesn't stop the team from Liverpool University focussing on the fact that it's really investigating a way to slice everyone's favourite bread-based meal.

The work builds on previous research that showed that it was possible to cut a pizza into six curved slices (or 'shields'), each of which could then be sliced in half to produce 12 identical slices. Like this:

Mathematicians Have Found Crazy New Ways to Cut Pizza Into Equal Slices

The new approach shows that you can use a way more complex pizza slicing approach that still yields equally sized pieces. It relies on creating initial pieces that resemble the curved shields above, but which this time are instead made up of an odd number of straight sides. Each of those can then be cut up into equal slices. Like this:

Mathematicians Have Found Crazy New Ways to Cut Pizza Into Equal Slices

You can, according to the researchers, keep going indefinitely, increasing the number of sides of the shield as you go. (Read all the technical details right here if you want.) You can even add in some extra notches to make things look really weird:

Mathematicians Have Found Crazy New Ways to Cut Pizza Into Equal Slices

But go easy, or you might need a very accurate pizza cutter indeed.

[arXiv via New Scientist]

Top image adapted from Shutterstock. All other images by Joel Haddley/Stephen Worsley.


Comments

    Tsk, tsk, tsk. They failed to take into account the crust.

      Solution: 1 pizza per person, no sharing or swaps.

      If your cutting up a pizza that small, i willpick the pasta.

        How does garlic bread fit into all this?

      not to mention the amount of toppings. The old way is the best way...

    Pics or it didn't happen.

    Drawing something that looks like it came out of a spirograph, is not a new way to cut pizza.

    Help me fund my "laser pizza cutter" kickstarter today.

    Give me the usual. I prefer uneven slices, that way when the wife asks 'can I have a small slice?' You get the larger slice next to it.

      Exactly I always dissect slightly off centre so the bits on my side are bigger...

        I like to pick the smaller sizes for portion control, or get the bigger ones when I'm starving. Uneven slices means everyone wins, except if you're too slow and get none!

    How does this result in better pizza allocation than the old four-cut method anyway?

    You can cut a pizza into 1000 even slices but you cant make a casual 8.50 and hour student cut it evenly.

      Why they aren't forced to use something like this is beyond me.
      http://cdnimg2.webstaurantstore.com/images/products/extra_large/25615/284152.jpg

    I wonder what Louie and Franco at my local pizzeria would say if I ask them to cut my pizza into eight slices like this? They'll probably tell me to visit Luigi's!

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