### Now you're (Nu)tell(a)ing me, there's a scientific way to make great crepes?

A modern French take on a classic tragedy: You see a beautiful crÃªpe in a restaurant, soft, thin, perhaps full of Nutella. You think to yourself “Oh! It shouldn’t be too hard to make this at home, what’s the worst that could happen?” You go to the store, pick out your ingredients, and set out to make those crÃªpes. The result? It's okay, but it's just not perfect.

In search of the perfect crÃªpe, researchers in New Zealand and France teamed up to unmask the secrets to these ultrathin pancakes. The answer, they found, lies in fluid dynamics.

CrÃªpe batter is not unique among liquids, but the process of cooking crÃªpes is a rather complicated display of thermodynamics. Immediately after the batter is poured onto the hot pan, it begins to cook, and thus begins to solidify and become more viscous. The end result? One part of the crÃªpe is overcooked, the other undercooked.

See, as the batter cooks, it gets thicker and thicker, making it harder and harder for the batter to flow on top of the pan. By developing a computer model that takes the pan’s orientation, temperature, and thickness into account, the researchers were able to come up with a method that maximizes a uniform thickness on the pan.

Based on their calculations, the best way to evenly spread the batter on the pan is to immediately tilt the pan to the side after the batter hits the hot pan. Then, while the pan is still inclined, rotate it in a circle so the batter is distributed across the entire area of the pan. After all the holes are filled, you can put down the pan and let it continue cooking before flipping to the other side.

In the video above, we attempted to replicate their technique (using this recipe from BuzzFeed). While we aren't master crÃªpe chefs just yet, their tips certainly helped us step up our crÃªpe game!

While we can confirm crepes are a tasty test subject, the applications for this research span far beyond the culinary industry. In the future, their idea may be used to improve chocolate manufacturing, the coating of surfaces, or the production of thin elastic shells. For now though, we certainly appreciate their delicious results.

–Lissie Connors & Phoebe Sharp

Lissie Connors (@LissieOfficial) covers social media and writes about science in a slightly snarky manner for APS and PhysicsCentral. This fall she's moving to the Pacific Northwest to study geochemistry and challenge Bigfoot to a rap battle.

Phoebe Sharp (@phee_sharp) is the editor of the Physics Buzz blog, curating goofy puns and overachieving science topics. She is starting her Ph.D. in Physics Education Research in the fall and aims to finally crochet an appropriately sized sweater before next summer.

### How 4,000 Physicists Gave a Vegas Casino its Worst Week Ever

What happens when several thousand distinguished physicists, researchers, and students descend on the nation’s gambling capital for a conference? The answer is "a bad week for the casino"—but you'd never guess why.

### Ask a Physicist: Phone Flash Sharpie Shock!

Lexie and Xavier, from Orlando, FL want to know: "What's going on in this video ? Our science teacher claims that the pain comes from a small electrical shock, but we believe that this is due to the absorption of light. Please help us resolve this dispute!"

### The Science of Ice Cream: Part One

Even though it's been a warm couple of months already, it's officially summer. A delicious, science-filled way to beat the heat? Making homemade ice cream. (We've since updated this article to include the science behind vegan ice cream. To learn more about ice cream science, check out The Science of Ice Cream, Redux ) Image Credit: St0rmz via Flickr Over at Physics@Home there's an easy recipe for homemade ice cream. But what kind of milk should you use to make ice cream? And do you really need to chill the ice cream base before making it? Why do ice cream recipes always call for salt on ice?