You know those days when you discover a way of doing something even better than you already were, and it makes you feel like a total life ninja? Well, rejoice, pizza lovers! Today is one of those days, because two mathematicians from the University of Liverpool have unveiled the mathematically perfect way to slice a pizza. Is it complex? Naturally. Convoluted? Probably. The best thing you've seen all week? You betcha.
ICYMI, applying mathematics to pizza isn't exactly a new idea. Many impressive minds have pondered if it is possible to divide a pizza into equal parts. Countless geometric equations have been endeavored to this end, and perhaps some lucky soul in a lab coat enjoyed a brief but glorious stint as consumer of the massive number of pizza fractions created in this noble pursuit — which leads us to the present, and a study titled "Infinite families of monohedral disk tilings" by Joel Haddley and Stephen Worsley detailing what is arguably the most complicated, yet mathematically superior way to divvy up that hallowed circle of cheese and toppings. Of course, as can be expected, pinpointing the best method was a matter of trial-and-error.
In the beginning researchers created 12 curved slices, and they saw that it was good. Like so:
From there, they began playing with the idea that you can likewise slice a pizza into an equal number of sythe-shaped pieces with odd-numbered straight sides. These pieces are called 5-gons, 7-gons, and so on, depending on the odd number of sides they possess.
Not content to stop expanding their pizza wisdom there, Haddley and Worsley went on to tinker with cutting small wedges into the corners of the sythe-shaped pieces, resulting in strikingly pretty pieces.
"Mathematically there is no limit whatsoever," Haddley marveled to New Scientist . "I've no idea whether there are any applications at all to our work outside of pizza-cutting." As for limits to real life applications in the world of pizza slicing, well, that's debatable. Using Photoshop, I mocked up what this new method of pizza slicing might actually look like (You. Are. Welcome). Given that I could barely pull this off on a faux pizza, I'm not holding out much hope I could create these unique wedged slices on an actual pepperoni pie without — oh, you know — sacrificing a few digits in the process.
Still, if you happen to be a Picasso of pizza and can bring Haddley and Worsley's pizza-slicing formula to life, it sure would make for some epic Instagram pics — not to mention the ultimate party trick.
Images: Michela Ravasio/Stocksy; Cornell University Library /arXiv; Julie Sprankles/Bustle