A Simple Slice of Science asks...
Why are pancakes round?
Why ARE pancakes
That’s a very good question. The
answer lies in a few things...
gravi ty, surface tension, the
angle the batter is dropped
into the pan at, and the surface
of the pan.
Gravity is that invisible force
that keeps us from floating off
into space. Everything has
gravity but some more than
others. The earth has a lot of
gravitation force which is why
things fall down, not up.
Just like our pancake
Gravity pulls on
that batter is pulled
out in all directions
with the same force,
making the pancake
nice and round.
Surface tension is an attraction of
the molecules on the surface of a
liquid. They pull together slightly,
and their force acts almost like a
Surface tension pulls evenly on
the edges of the pancake helping
to hold it in that nice round shape.
The surface of the pan
Or course if the surface of the
pan is bumpy or sloped gravity
and surface tension will not act
on the batter in the same way!
What about the angle that it hits the pan at?
The batter needs to drop straight down onto the pan (at a 90
degree angle). If it hits the pan at a different angle then we
get an irregular shaped pancake!