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Finding it difficult to win a war against the tangled cords? First, know the reason behind these hopeless knots. Robert Matthews, a visiting scientist at Aston University in Birmingham, England, has come up with a mathematical theory that explains why headphones tangle up into hopeless knots. The phenomenon is called the ‘Murphy’s Law of String’ or the ‘Loop Conjecture.’
Robert Matthew has suggested that clipping the two earbuds together, then attaching them to the end near the audio jack to form a loop, will cause a reduction in the formation of such types of knots.
First, forming the loop effectively reduces the length of string able to explore the 3D space by 50%, which makes a big difference. Second, the two ends are eliminated which are the prime movers of knot formation.
The Birmingham-based scientist has invited schools across England to participate in the Great British Knot Experiment. There the participants compared different types of knots to discover which are the easiest to unravel. One of the schools picked away at over 12,000 jumbled strings to provide data for Matthews’ predictions.
Matthews said he feels satisfied that he was able to tie up the loose ends on headphone tangles. He also hoped that his work may help cast light on how knot formations in cancer cells can be undone with targeted drugs.