RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Mathematicians at New York University have helped answer that age-old question.
(SOUNDBITE OF TOOTSIE POP AD)
BUDDY FOSTER: (As Boy) How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
MONTAGNE: One thousand. They computed the licks needed to dissolve one centimeter of hard candy using a formula for how flows cause dissolving, like saliva on a Tootsie Pop. Those with less patience can believe other studies where real students took just a few hundred licks.
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