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Researchers Solve Mystery of the Universe, Break Piece of Uncooked Spaghetti in Half


When you study physics, you’re bound to brush up against some of the universe’s larger mysteries. What came before the Big Bang? What lies inside a black hole? Is it possible to break a stick of dry spaghetti into exactly two pieces?

Perhaps you’ve found yourself asking that last question in your own kitchen. Why is it that, when you try to snap a single piece of uncooked spaghetti in half, you almost always end up with three or more pieces of pasta clattering across your counter? It’s a logic-defying phenomenon that has baffled chef and scholar alike for decades; even Nobel physics laureate Richard Feynman, who helped develop the atomic bomb during World War II, is said to have spent the better part of a night sitting in his kitchen, snapping spaghetti sticks and searching for an explanation.

Feynman came up dry, so to speak — but finally, a new study published Monday (Aug. 13) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides some closure. With the help of some mathematical models and a spaghetti-bending robot, researchers at MIT have found that, yes, it is possible to break a piece of uncooked spaghetti into just two pieces, but there’s a twist … literally. To prevent bent spaghetti from splintering into a half dozen pieces, the researchers wrote, one end of the pasta first has to be twisted nearly 360 degrees.

Live Science excerpt posted on SouthFloridaReporter.com, Aug. 19, 2018 

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