What is the reason? Is it caused by their narrow shape, the soft material, walking vibration or something else?
I have to go, but I will leave you with this for now:
In March 2009, a group at UCSD published a paper titled "Spontaneous knotting of an agitated string". It is under reference number 30 on Doug Smith's site (linked). Below the paper are links to newspaper articles that discuss it and surely provide a summary.
There is also a paper titled "The Biophysics of Knotting" (reference #37), but that is about biophysical examples of knotting (DNA, umbilicus, etc.).
Because they are too long for the confined space. Reasoning: A very short string can't clot (say 1mm). So it needs a certain length before it can start clotting.
If they could be placed neatly (say big pocket), they wouldn't clot because the ends are too far apart.
They must be flexible. A steel bar doesn't clot.
So you need certain elements to be just right:
In the usual case, the string will be stuffed into the pocket without much consideration, so it will actually start somewhat clotted. If the ends aren't fixed somewhere, they will easily weave with the rest of the string. What makes matters worse is that the ends aren't thin. So you can't untangle everything by simple pulling.
The easiest way to avoid clotting is to fixate the two ends. In my case, I have a clip to pin the volume control to my clothes. If you fixate the two ends with that clip, they don't clot.
protected by Qmechanic♦ Jan 5 '13 at 19:19
Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.
Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?