When they were working in Rome, Italy, physicists Andrey Varlamov and Andreas Glatz, as well as food anthropologist Sergio Grasso, decided to figure out how to make the perfect pizza, with a little help from science.
The end result is the thermodynamic equation above that describes the perfect baking time of a pizza Margherita.
LiveScience summed up the secret to the perfect pizza:
The secret … was the physics of the brick oven. With a wood fire burning in one corner, heat radiates uniformly through the curved walls and stone floor of the oven, ensuring an even bake on all sides of the pie. Under ideal conditions, the authors wrote, a single pizza Margherita could be baked to perfection in precisely 2 minutes in a brick oven heated to 625 degrees Fahrenheit (330 degrees Celsius).
Don’t have a brick oven? No problem, you can still make it in an electric oven:
Using a long thermodynamic equation … the authors determined that a pizza cooked in an electric oven could meet similar conditions to a Roman brick oven by turning the heat down to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for 170 seconds. Crucially, the authors noted, aspiring pizzaiolos cooking toppings with higher water content (basically, any additional vegetables) may need to leave their pies in the oven longer, as the pizza will return more heat to the oven via evaporation.
The paper, titled "The Physics of Baking Good Pizza", was published in the preprint journal arXiv.