Unique Shape of M&M's Interests Scientists

NPR's Alex Chadwick asks Ira Flatow, host of NPR's Talk of the Nation Science Friday, about a surprising discovery related to the unique shape of the popular M&M's chocolate candies.

Have you ever gone to a carnival and played the game where you try to guess the amount of M&M's in jar? NPR's Ira Flatow shares his secret formula for how to go home with a jar full of candy:

• Estimate the volume of the jar in cubic centimeters and multiply by .68.

• Divide that sum by .636 cubic centimeters — the volume of one M&M.

The formula, spelled out:

(volume of jar in cubic cm's X .68) / .636 cubic cm's of one M&M's = number of M&M's in the jar

Flatow suggests that 10 percent of the winnings would be a nice reward for providing this formula.

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