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Physicists invent new pasta shape

Physicists invent new pasta shape

Doesn't "anelloni" sound like a traditional Italian dish? It's actually a new type of pasta — created by physicists.

Davide Michieletto and Matthew S. Turner, scientists at the University of Warwick, created the new pasta shape, named after the Italian word for "ring," to explain the complex shapes of ring-like polymers, which are macromolecules used in everyday life, such as in the making of plastic bottles.

The pasta, unveiled in this month's Physics World, will help explain "one of the last big mysteries in polymer physics," the researchers told Phys.org.

Most pasta noodles aren't too hard to separate, but the anelloni noodles become "horribly tangled up" when they're cooked, making it "much harder to extract a single piece of pasta." The tangling mimics the way ring-shaped polymers "become massively intertwined with each other," Phys.org notes.

The pair also created computer simulations of the ring-shaped polymers to demonstrate the tangling. If their research is successful, they will have discovered "topological glass," a new state of matter. Check out Michieletto enjoying the anelloni in the video below. --Meghan DeMaria