To play, two participants each grab a different side of an Oreo, twist, and separate the cookie’s two wafers. The winner is the one who winds up holding the wafer with the cream affixed. As grad students, John Cannarella, Daniel Quinn, and Joshua Spechler would meet during their department’s afternoon snack break, where, one day, the presence of an Oreo at the event led to a discussion about unlocking the physics behind the cookie’s game. After going through hundreds of Oreos and trying out different cookie separation tactics such as twisting at different speeds and angles, the engineers discovered the trick: the cream tends to adhere to the same side for every cookie in a given Oreo package. The engineers believe this quirk is because all cookies within a package undergo the same manufacturing process, with hot cream being applied to one wafer before the other wafer is affixed.
by Jeff Huber |
November 07, 2016