Unexpectedly Intriguing!
21 March 2014

It's been a big week for physics, with the detection of gravitational waves now confirmed. That news overshadows another recent discovery, which came two weeks earlier when mathematicians from the University of Sheffield unveiled the formula for producing the perfect pancake.

Really. We're not making this up! Although to be fair, the math is really about the perfect pancake portion....

In a collaboration with Meadowhall Shopping Centre, students from the University's Maths Society (SUMS) developed, trialled and tested a formula which enables pancake-lovers across the world to rustle-up pancakes to their own personal preference, taking into account the number of pancakes required, thickness and pan size.

Whether you're feeding a hungry family of six or simply wishing to treat yourself on Shrove Tuesday, the formula which has been turned into a calculator below will help you prepare the perfect pancake feast.

Tested by chefs at Meadowhall's Frankie and Benny's restaurant, the formula translates to:

Gaby Thompson, President of the University of Sheffield's Maths Society (SUMS), and one of the formula's creators, said: "Cooking is full of scientific and mathematical formulas, so when Meadowhall approached us to see if we'd like to join in the fun, we jumped at the chance.

"Cooking is a fun and innovative way to demonstrate how maths can be used and explored in everyday life and we hope by developing this formula it will encourage more people to engage with the subject and help to combat maths phobia."

Now, that's the kind of practical discovery for which we like to mark with the creation of a new tool! Just enter the indicated parameters in the tool below, and we'll work out how much batter you need to finally achieve success in making pancakes according to your optimal parameters.

Pancake Parameters
Input Data Values
Frying Pan [Base] Diameter [in]
Desired Thickness of Pancake [in]
Number of Pancakes Wanted

Pancake Batter Required
Calculated Results Values
Amount of Pancake Batter Needed per Pancake
Amount of Pancake Batter Needed for Batch

Mmm... pancakes! Now, all you need is a good recipe, and for that, we'll refer you to The Pioneer Woman, who is similarly obsessed with creating perfect pancakes.

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Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations.com

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