Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Science of Gift Wrapping

A mathematician in the UK has come up with a formula for the perfect method of gift-wrapping without wasting wrapping paper. From AlphaGalileo:
Bluewater, the UKs leading shopping centre, discovered that Brits continually overestimate the amount of paper they need to wrap their Christmas presents. Following this new revelation, Bluewater today reveals the mathematical solution which will hopefully put an end to unnecessary paper wastage: A1 = 2(ab+ac+bc+c2)**

In laymans’ terms, the length of the wrapping paper should be as long as the perimeter of the side of the gift, with no more than 2cm allowed for an overlap. The width should be just a little over the sum of the width and the depth of the gift.

Those who need to wrap an unusual shaped gift, such as a cylinder, can compare its radius with its height using the formula h/(p-2)***. The equation will help consumers decide whether they should roll the paper around the gift or wrap the paper over the top of it to ensure they reduce their gift-wrapping footprint.

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