It was a groundbreaking day last year when we discovered we’d apparently been slicing cake all wrong. Now, our beloved pizza is under attack.
Experts have come up with an alternative method for cutting up our favourite cheesy food equally – and solved a major maths conundrum in the process.
According to mathematicians from the University of Liverpool, rather than cutting pizza into triangle slices that meet in the middle, we should try cutting the pizza up into scythe-shaped pieces to ensure equal pieces of uneven numbers.
"Our research explored a long standing maths conundrum of cutting a flat disc into equal-sized pieces. We knew solutions existed, however, we were interested in demonstrating a surprising solution where some of the pieces did not touch the centre," said PhD candidate, Stephen Worsley.
Watch: Another one of our favourite foods, mug cake. Post continues after video...
Along with Dr Joel Haddley, the mathematicians started with a previously identified technique known as 'monohedral disk tiling' which gives you 12 identically sized pieces, six that form a star and six outside the star.
You cut three waved slices that intersect across and down, then divide them in two to get the inside and outside groups. For a more detailed breakdown of how it works, consult their official diagram.
We're already confused. Image: Supplied
The researchers took this further, demonstrating that it's possible to cut a pizza (or any flat disk) into these equal surface area curved slices with any odd-number of sides, which are known as five-gons, seven-gons and nine-gons. Translated to pizza speak, that's up to 20, 28 or even 36 equal slices from just one pizza.
The findings were published in New Scientist earlier this year.
“Mathematically there is no limit whatsoever to this although it might be impractical to carry out the scheme beyond 9-gon pieces," Dr Haddley said.
Dr Haddley put the technique into practise. Image: Dr Joel Haddley
Look, we're not going to try and pretend to fully understand how it works or indeed the, ahem, point. When a delicious cheesy pizza lands in our laps, we want to dive in straight away rather than reenact what seems more like a university maths challenge.
There's also the glaring problem that while the slices may be of equal size, more than half the group is going to get the short straw with a whole mouthful of crust while everyone else is getting 100 per cent cheese and topping goodness.
Good try though, maths.
On a budget and need to make one single pizza go a long way? Perfect. Want to impress new friends with a pizza-related party trick? Go for it. Other than that we think we'll stick to our normal slices, thanks.