Monday, November 29

Why do cables get tangled all the time?

  • Serie “CrowdScience”
  • BBC World Service

Tangled telephone earphones

Image source, Getty Images

Have you ever wondered, maybe when you’re already desperate trying to undo a stubborn knot, why things get tangled up instead of behaving the way we need them to?

No matter how careful you are, things like smartphone earphones, the hose with which you water the plants in the garden, the cables of the hair dryer … even the hair itself demands our attention sometimes in moments when it is difficult to give it.

Perhaps to console ourselves we can turn to science and avail ourselves of Second law of thermodynamics which states that all closed systems tend to maximize entropy, a measure of disorder.

The Universe, in short, tends to chaos.

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