Friday, October 06, 2006

2006 Physics Ig Nobel: How Spaghetti Breaks

Basile Audoly and Sebastien Neukirch of the Université Pierre et Marie Curie won the 2006 Ig Nobel for their analysis that explains why spaghetti breaks into several pieces when it is bent.

Congratulations guys!

I should also offer my appologies,Basile and Sebastien, in case you fellas aren't too happy about this one (personally, I would consider it a kind of honor). You see, I first publicised the paper in a news tip sheet that I write for the APS. It appeared in Tip Sheet #50, which I sent out July 21, 2005.

Of course, they made the trip all the way from France to attend the ceremony at Harvard, so they can't be very upset. I guess I'll know when I can finally get through to see the video posted on the Ig Nobel site, but it seems to be swamped at the moment.

What the heck, it's an interesting story and the physics has real world applications (for predicting structural failure in bridges, buildings, and even human bones). Check out the extensive article about it in Science News, if you don't believe me.

I've also written an official APS press release about it, with a quote from SpaceKendra.

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