Mystery Solved: Why Do Earphones Always Get Tangled Up in Pocket?

entangled earphones mystery solved
entangled earphones mystery solved

-earphone entanglementScientists have been working very hard to solve the complexities of the universe.  While some geniuses have been busy hacking the human brain, others are busy creating artificial ones. But does anyone care to work for the common man’s cause??

When it comes to daily life complexities and entanglements, the first and foremost that comes to mind is the twining of your earphones. No matter how neatly you put them inside your bag, they somehow emerge out as intricated mess. As if they have some kind of superpower. And if you dared to put them in your denims, then be prepared to play with the knots.

Now the question is why do the earphones and other stringy objects get tangled up when jostled up. Physicists now have stepped up to this problem and did a few trials by hustling strings of different stiffness and lengths in a box. They found that complex knots often form within seconds ( something even the kids know very well ).

Now a mathematical knot theory is used to analyze the knots. The probability P of knotting depends upon the length of the strings. Above the critical length, the probability first increases sharply and then saturates below 100%.  Also if the strings are stiff then the probability of knotting is lower but increases with long and flexible strings.

Read the explanation:

We analyzed the knots by calculating their Jones polynomials via computer analysis of digital photos of the string. Remarkably, almost all were identified as prime knots: 120 different types, having minimum crossing numbers up to 11, were observed in 3,415 trials. All prime knots with up to seven crossings were observed. The relative probability of forming a knot decreased exponentially with minimum crossing number and Möbius energy, mathematical measures of knot complexity. Based on the observation that long, stiff strings tend to form a coiled structure when confined, we propose a simple model to describe the knot formation based on random “braid moves” of the string end. Our model can qualitatively account for the observed distribution of knots and dependence on agitation time and string length.
-string knot formation.
Knot formation chronology.

Well, now we know why do our earphones entangle. But I would love to know how to stop them from doing so. Anyone ready to perform experiments for that…? :P

Bonus Video: How To Destroy An iPhone

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