Taking a mangle from a sun, a silt and a squeals of wave-jumping children to pad over to a saltwater-taffy “shoppe” and watch a formidable apparatus do a pully-twisty thing is, truly, one of a good joys of summer.
It also turns out to be one of a good joys of mathematics. In fact, a highbrow of liquid dynamics during a University of Wisconsin, Jean-Luc Thiffeault, whose margin of investigate mixes arithmetic and production like a atmosphere and sugarine that are taffy’s arch ingredients, has combined an whole investigate paper — “A mathematical story of taffy pullers” — about a mathematical potency of taffy-making machines and a innovations over a years.
In a news on Thiffeault’s research, a Washington Post highlights some interesting tidbits about taffy’s history to gnaw on. Among them:
1. All that stretching and pulling and whiz-banging is not only show: Successful taffy creation truly depends on it to get atmosphere into a brew and grasp a quintessentially taffyish texture.
2. In a ancient days, behind before a spin of a 20th century, all a pulling and rambling was finished by hand, that was labor-intensive, unsanitary and, frankly, not terribly appetizing.
3. In a early 20th century, a flurry of taffy-minded inventors came adult with automatic inventions to urge a routine and law them.
4. One early indication — a Nitz taffy puller, law in 1918 — that used 3 rods to stretch, overlay and loop a taffy, precisely mirrors a figure that mathematicians have been study given a early 1970s. (Thiffeault was super-excited when he done a find — the Washington Post calls it a “Eureka moment.”)
5. Many other taffy-machine models have used some-more than 3 rods to do a business of stretching and pulling, though Thiffeault says they flattering most all achieved a same thing, taffywise.
6. The most-common indication in use currently uses 4 rods that spin, turn and lift a taffy in an gigantic motion.
7. Thiffeault combined a puller that uses 6 rods, contending that it is “more mathematically perfect,” as a Post puts it, than a common four-rod puller. But he says that doesn’t meant that, from an engineering standpoint, it’s indispensably superior. So don’t design large changes in a taffy universe as a result.
Fascinating. And only a arrange of thing that could put a chairman in a mood for taffy. Here’s a recipe to try — no imagination appurtenance needed.
Photo pleasantness of iStock