Physicists explain why your earphones are always tangled

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by wegs, May 18, 2019.

  1. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    So they're forming true knots (i.e. requiring the threading of an string end), not just overlapping loops.

    Sounds to me like a very simple partial fix is to have the loose ends clip together before you put them away.

    I imagine if some enterprising young inventor stuck a couple of neodymium magnets in the buds and the jack - when brought together, they'd form a loop, resulting in vastly reduced tangling.

    There's a billion dollar idea for you wegs. When you'counting your cash, don't forget where you got the idea.
     
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  7. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I'd always vaguely put it down to the 2nd law of TD: there are more ways they can be in a tangled configuration than an untangled configuration, but I'd never thought it through like this. Looks like the sort of thing physicists would argue about after dinner, over a bottle of something in the graduate common room. Nice!
     
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  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The human manipulation may be necessary - the hands pulling the loops through, rather than purely "spontaneous" braiding. Reason for suspicion: an old boater's trick for clearing a rope tangle is to throw it overboard into the wake - the random jostling seems to favor, eventually, the unknotted or mostly unknotted line. Also, that's how I get knots in my garden hose - by picking a lower bight up through a loop. They don't form by themselves.
     
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  9. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    people stuff them into their pockets
    they also hold them at a length where the ear plugs hang down and twist.
    they then stuff them into bags and pockets
    when they pull them out, they pull them out by a single wire
    the extraction process is a tightening pulling action
    the putting away process is a compressing action

    if they wound them in a loop around their hand prior to putting them in a pocket by themselves and pick the entire bundle up at once when getting them out, they would rarely tangle.
    additionally
    the length to end ratio of hand width is equidistant to the ends
    when people bundle them into their hands, they allow the ends to hang just over the end of their hands.
    these aspects are all critical.

    i just realized i am missing a pair of ear plugs
     
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  10. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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    Oh, I found a great life hack for packing necklaces in a suitcase to ensure that they won’t tangle in transit: slip each necklace through an individual drinking straw, and tape the ends of the straw so the necklace doesn’t slip out. I must try this!

    I’m going to try an experiment by hanging five or so necklaces on a doorknob, and see if they tangle. I’m just wondering if “hanging” necklaces, (as opposed to laying them flat) despite being in close proximity (touching each other) would decrease the odds of tangling? *hmm*
     
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  11. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    great idea
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
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  12. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

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    Now they can work on why, as one Minion put it

    The divorce rate amongst my socks is so high?

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  13. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    But those are closed loops. They can overlap, but they can't get knotted.
     
  15. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    ...unlike certain people on this forum (present company excepted) who can definitely get knotted as far as I am concerned.

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  16. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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  17. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Wifi MPOW headphones. Never tangled.
     
  18. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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  19. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    Can't say I've ever had this problem--lessons from AV club (or nautical sorts) are invaluable. In short: never leave cables, cords, rope, etc. lying in a jumble.
     
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  20. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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    What caught my attention with that article is that it relates to laying down earphones' long wires or necklaces, in a straight line. And then the next day, the wire is knotted or necklaces are ''mysteriously'' tangled around other necklaces in the jewelry box, etc. That's what stumped me, the ''spontaneous'' tangling that seems to transpire when my back turns.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
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  21. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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    As suspected, my door knob experiment proved to be a fail. The necklaces of course, ended up tangling despite hanging, as opposed to being laid flat. But that could be due to the fact that I’m opening and shutting the door, thus disrupting the necklaces. So, one more test I’m trying - I bought a hanging jewelry organizer and it fastens onto your door or mirror and you line necklaces up side by side, looping them over a horizontal thin cylinder. (Looks like a bird’s perch)

    Spacing them out half in inch apart, so this might be the best remedy.
     
  22. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    you may be referring to the space-time-continuum of TangleVerse

    have you tried placing a small toy in the box for them to play with instead.
     
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  23. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    technical issue
    any 18 and above gold, & silver is likely to be crushed and split with pressure.
    specially the connector break-links main connector link

    can you just stick it in the middle of a raspberry roll cake

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