Rick and Paul also love pizza.
While this does not prove that all those who love pizza are mathematicians, it does prove that all mathematicians love pizza.
And why not? Pizza offers the ultimate eating question: HOW CAN YOU SLICE A PIZZA TO ENSURE THAT ALL PRESENT WILL RECEIVE THE EXACT SAME AMOUNT OF PIZZA?
This was the problem that Rick and Paul set out to find: to determine how to create a PERFECT SLICE OF PIZZA.
Parents have their own way of dealing with this: one person cuts the pizza, and the other takes the slice they prefer to have. This ensures that the slicer cuts the pizza in half as best they can, and the slicee doesn’t feel cheated out of getting less than they feel they deserve.
But when you’re dealing with more than two people, or more than just two slices of pizza, that’s where things get a little complicated – and that’s where Rick and Paul come in with their pizza-loving mathematic theory.
The first piece of the puzzle is obvious: when cutting a pizza into two halves, the cut must go directly through the exact center of the pizza. If the cut is off-center even slightly, than whichever side of pizza contains the exact center will be the larger of the two slices. And if the pizza is cut into 3, 4, 8, or 17 slices – the situation gets dicier in determining who gets more pizza if the pizza is not sliced directly through the middle first.
The theory that Rick and Paul came up with is not based on looking at the physical pizza slices that are made, but doing some fancy calculations based on the cut in question and a parallel cut that is made through the center of the pizza (see image), and is related to determining how two slices of pizza that are directly opposite each other are related, size-wise
The two parallel lines will contain between them a certain amount of pizza representing slice A, and a certain amount of pizza representing slice B. This ration will be similar to the actual slice sizes for slice A and slice B — and from there, you can determine whose slices are bigger, and ultimately, who is getting more pizza due to bad pizza slicing.
You really need to see that linked image to tell exactly what’s going on, but Web Watch is going to be sure to tell the local pizza guy how to cut the pie next time we go pick up our pizza order (yeah, we’re still not ordering delivery pizza).