#68 The Math Behind Pringles

This Math Minute was inspired by the Pringles commercial that played during Super Bowl LIII.

Thanks to Ava and Karin too for your help!

I’ve always been intrigued by the shape of Pringles, but this commercial took it to the next level and had me pondering the mathematics behind this beloved chip!

How can you spend your Math Minutes this week?

  1. Read about the Geometry of Pringles by visiting this website: https://interestingengineering.com/geometry-of-pringles-crunchy-hyperbolic-paraboloid Post a comment about something new you learned.  Make sure to include your first name only, grade, and school (i.e. Ava, 6, Loveland).
  2. Watch this video on stacking Pringles in a complete circle.  If you try it yourself, make sure to record it! 🙂  Check out Cooper and Jack’s attempt!
  3. A Pringles can is a cylinder that is 30 cm tall.  The circles at each end of the can have a radius of 4 cm.  Find the surface area and volume of the can.  Click here for help with the formulas.  Turn in your work to the EY Coordinator at your building.
  4. Create a package that will hold a single Pringle.  Send it to yourself (or a friend) in the mail and see if your package kept it protected during its journey (didn’t cause it to break).
  5. Check out this interactive Pringle stacking website! https://www.pringles.com/us/wowyoucanstackpringles.html Leave a comment with the combination you think would taste the best!

The #spadyboys had a friendly Pringle Stacking Competition/Taste Test the other night.  Check out the video!

14 thoughts on “#68 The Math Behind Pringles

  1. The hyperbolic paraboloids intersecting double curvature is what prevents the Pringle at the bottom of the can from cracking or splitting in half.

  2. I learned that a Pringles shape is based on a hyperbolic paraboloid. It creates the curved/arched shape.

  3. I learned that the shape of a Pringle has reasoning behind it, it’s not just a random shape.

  4. I learned that the weight of chips doesn’t usually go above 150 grams. I also learned that to make Pringles you have to use Hyperbolic Paraboloid. It makes sure that the maximum and minimum meet a 0.

  5. The Pringles are designed to take the geometry of a hyperbolic parabola. There is also a saddle point, and the curvature prevents stress to the bottom Pringle.

  6. The way the Pringle is shaped makes it more crunchy and flaky. The same shape is also used in buildings for structure.

  7. When a maximum point And a minimum point Meet at a zero point it is called a saddle point

  8. I didn’t know that Pringles had so much math behind it. I guess I never noticed how complex it was.

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