KNOTTY PROBLEMS

Science once again catches up to knitting.  This article from Live Science details some recent advances in knot theory – a discipline that examines the rules, topologies and probabilities of physical tangles.  It’s actually a useful area of study.  There are lots of areas ranging from biochemistry to materials sciences that would benefit from a better understanding of what happens when filaments, proteins, or fibers touch.  Still, it’s hard not to say “No kidding!” when faced with some of the observations listed in the write-up:

  • It is virtually impossible to distinguish different knots just by looking at them
  • “Surprisingly little disturbance or motion is even needed [to generate knots]”
  • “A highly flexible string placed in a very large container will have a
    higher probability of becoming knotted than a stiff one that’s confined
    in a smaller container.”

I can now officially classify my knitting bag as an Official Basic Science Research Laboratory.  Perhaps I can apply for grants to fund further exploration of the phenomenon. 

One response

  1. Very funny. I’d be in on that grant! đŸ™‚

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