Washington D.C.: According to a new study, physics behind pancakes could improve surgical methods for treating glaucoma.
Researchers from University College London have found that the appearance of pancakes depends on how water escapes the batter mix during the cooking process and this varies with the thickness of the batter and process will not help in making perfect pancakes but will also gives important insights into how flexible sheets, like those found in human eyes, interact with flowing vapour and liquids.
Co-author Ian Eames of UCL said that the variations in texture and patterns in pancakes result from differences in how water escapes the batter during cooking and that this is largely dependent on the thickness and spread of the batter.
After comparing recipes for 14 different types of pancakes from across the world, the research analysed and plotted the aspect ratio, i.e. the pancake diameter to the power of three in relation to its volume of batter, and the baker's percentage which is the ratio of liquid to flour in the batter, i.e. the thickness of the batter.
It was found that the thick, almost spherical pancakes such as Dutch poffertjes had the lowest aspect ratio at 3, whereas large, thin French crepes had the biggest at 300.
Co-author Yann Bouremel stated that they have found that the physics of pancake cooking is complex but generally follows one of two trends, i.e if the batter spreads easily in the pan, the pancake ends up with a smooth surface pattern and less burning as the vapour flow buffers the heat of the pan.
The study is published in the journal Mathematics TODAY.