Mathematicians have found a new scientific way to ruin pizza

Pizza is one of humankind’s most holy institutions. But now some enterprising mathematicians want to ruin it, in the name of equality.

Joel Haddley and Stephen Worsley, mathematicians at the University of Liverpool, say they’ve developed a new method to cut a pie into perfectly equal (if oddly-shaped) slices. The method offers an infinite number of ways to divide a disk into monohedral tilings, which is the scientific way of saying it can divide a pizza into slices that are all the exact same size and shape (pdf).

pizza shapes

This method has some obvious benefits. It ensures all members of your party have the opportunity to devour an equal amount of pizza. The unusual slice shape also allows eaters to avoid toppings if they want, because apparently ordering a pizza with toppings on only one side is too hard. And, anyone who wants a slice of pizza with no crust can get that, too.

But it also poses several immediate problems. First—assuming there are no expert mathematicians with you—cutting the pizza into these zany slices looks both difficult and time-consuming. Why spend all your time cutting the pizza, when you could be eating the pizza? Not to mention, what happens when your pizza arrives pre-sliced?

Second, it should really go without saying that a pizza slice without crust is not a pizza slice. You don’t have to like eating the crust, but you need it to hold onto so you can eat the rest of your slice.

But most of all, it is an affront to every pizza-triangle purist in the world. Pizza slices are triangles. They can be squares, too, if you ask nicely. But they cannot be whatever shape this new method turns them into. If you choose to cut your pizza in this manner, you will not be eating pizza when you’re done. You’ll be eating sacrilege.

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