Date: Fri Dec 23 04:48:42 2005
Posted By: David Akerman, Staff, R&D Scientist, Clear Edge
Area of science: Other
The simple answer to your question is that there isn't a "tangling force"
responsible for the knots and entanglement.
However, by putting things into the drawer and then opening and closing it you
are helping to make the string tangle up. I think there are two reasons for
So, now you have a churning action and the sticky string all the time is
pressed against lots of things and sticking to them or to itself.
- The string is usually not smooth - you can see the ends of lots of fine
fibres (or filaments) coming off the main length of the string and these
mean that the string is "sticky". The filaments are there because the
string is made from thousands of these all twisted together. Lots of
twisted filaments are much stronger than one big, solid rod - this applies
to every type of fibre, from the cotton in clothes to the metal ropes
holding up suspension bridges.
Anyway, the filaments work like small hooks and catch anything that comes
into contact with them. This could be anything in the drawer with the
string, or it could be other parts of the same string.
- Every time you open (or close) the drawer, you first pull (or push) the
drawer and everything in the drawer comes with it, but before the drawer
falls out you quickly stop it. This action makes the items in the drawer
slide about, bang into each other and generally churns things up. This
especially true of the string because it is very light and easily pushed
To have a string that didn't knot you'd have to stop either the stickiness
or the churning action (or both). Making the string smooth isn't really
possible, so you'll have to stop the churning action by opening and closing
the drawer much more carefully!
Current Queue |
Current Queue for Other |
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Other.
MadSci Home | Information |
Random Knowledge Generator |
MadSci Archives |
Mad Library | MAD Labs |
MAD FAQs |
Ask a ? |
Join Us! |
Help Support MadSci
© 1995-2005. All rights reserved.