Two physicists from the University of Warwick have taken to the kitchen to explain the complexity surrounding what they say is one of the last big mysteries in polymer physics.
As a way of demonstrating the complicated shapes that ring-shaped polymers can adopt, the researchers have created a brand new type of ring-shaped pasta, dubbed “anelloni” (anello being the Italian word for “ring”), which they’ve exclusively unveiled in this month’s Physics World.
With just 2 eggs and 200 g of plain flour, Davide Michieletto and Matthew S Turner have created large loops of pasta that, when cooked and thrown together in a bowl, get hugely tangled up, in much the same way that ring-shaped polymers become massively intertwined with each other.
A video of Davide Michieletto showing what it’s like to eat this new kind of pasta was taken at the headquarters of Physics World.
Whereas it’s easy when faced with a bowl of normal spaghetti to suck or pull a single strand out, it’s much harder to extract a single piece of pasta from a pile of anelloni, which get horribly tangled up.
These are trying times; be brave!