A Scientific Approach to Cake Cutting


Ben Novak '23, Contributor

What is the scientific method of cutting cake? It is a way to cut cake to preserve moisture resulting in a cake that will last longer. Firstly, let’s look at the typical method. Typically, when going to cut cake, one would cut two lines that go from the center of the cake to the edge of the cake. The result of this is an individual receives a delicious piece of cake, but the remaining cake will have two new faces exposed to ]oxygen. This will result in the cake drying out and will ruin the delicious cake previously had. How does one get around this? Simple! The answer is to cut cake using the scientific method of cutting cake. In 1906, Francis Galton published a letter entitled “Cutting a Round Cake on Scientific Principles.”  This letter included details on a new method of cutting cake, one that would maximize moisture making for a longer-lasting cake. This method included cutting a slice from the middle of the cake, removing the slice, taking the remaining cake and pushing them together and sealing with a rubber band. Through this method, there is no inner surface of the cake being exposed to oxygen which would cause it to dry up. Also, an interesting thing to note about this method is the relation it has to the math world, specifically calculus. With this method of cutting cake, one could continue to cut the cake and still have a whole cake remaining, the cake’s volume would continuously decrease but in theory after every slice, one would still have an entire cake remaining. This means that the cake’s volume will get closer and closer to reaching 0 units3 but will never actually reach 0 units3, following the laws of calculus.