All posts tagged: knowledge

It Takes Three Steps to Get in Shape (if You Are a Spaghetti Strand)

As an Italian I beg you: stop breaking spaghetti strands into two before cooking them! This horrific practice not only diminishes the capacity of long pasta to wrap around your fork deliciously entangled with the sauce, but it is also useless. A spaghetti strand placed into a pot full of water sags and curls over onto itself: scientifically proven! In their recent publication in Physical Review, two physicists from the University of California, Berkely, Nathaniel Goldberg and Oliver O’Reilly, have mathematically described the deformation of a spaghetti noodle as it cooks. In their attempt to answer the question of what drives spaghetti to deform as they are cooked, the two scientists took into account an interesting observation: if spaghetti have not been cooked for too long, when taken out of the pot and placed on a flat surface they would show a curvature that persists over time. Thus, the cooking process must trigger a complex change in spaghetti’s shape that cannot be explained only by the naive hypothesis that cooking weakens the noodles. Goldberg and …