UC Berkeley, their education poureth over


VulchR

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I knew somebody when I was a PhD student at Princeton that was studying how to describe with mathematics all possible knots. It sounded absurd at first, but then he told me about the applications regarding the 3-D shape of DNA. With respect to this research, I would imagine that mountain climbers, rescue workers, construction workers etc. would be very happy to understand why knots fail. You just never know what will be useful.
 

daflake

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Apr 8, 2008
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I knew somebody when I was a PhD student at Princeton that was studying how to describe with mathematics all possible knots. It sounded absurd at first, but then he told me about the applications regarding the 3-D shape of DNA. With respect to this research, I would imagine that mountain climbers, rescue workers, construction workers etc. would be very happy to understand why knots fail. You just never know what will be useful.
So basically you are saying that her work was derivative?
 
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niploteksi

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Dec 11, 2016
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Really strange they didn't manage to figure out the mechanics of it. It's the counter force of the string holding it apart (hence the torsion). Easily seen when one looks at a string with less flexibility and using the prototypical knot. Say for instance on a pair of headphone cords. :rolleyes:

Anyone with basic knowledge about knots, knows how to tie them. But it's actually a good idea to apply some math and physics theory to it. I assumed people had done this already.

I thought this was a practical joke at first.

String-Theory
 
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chown33

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Aug 9, 2009
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Ted talk about how a guy was told this in a shoe shop circa 2002.

https://www.ted.com/talks/terry_moore_how_to_tie_your_shoes
For the nautically inclined, the "weak form" is a slipped granny knot, and the "strong form" is a slipped reef knot (square knot). Technically, "doubly slipped" in both cases.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoelace_knot

The cited reference for a doubly slipped granny is the venerable "Ashley's Book of Knots" (1944).

Regarding the Berkeley research: not original work, but may be minimally useful as confirmation of prior results (though anyone who's ever sailed would already know this).

As a general comment, this is hardly the dumbest thing I've heard out of Berkeley, and it certainly won't be the last dumb thing I hear from there.
 
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Gutwrench

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tshrimp

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I can tie a one second bowline and never attended UC-Berkeley.

(I've been on campus twice as part of a mutual aid riot team. What a bunch of out of touch turds. I became a huge Stanford fan.)
Maybe you learned your tie tying through osmosis while on the campus :).
 
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BeeGood

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Anyone with basic knowledge about knots, knows how to tie them. But it's actually a good idea to apply some math and physics theory to it. I assumed people had done this already.
I was just about to post this. The first impulse is to come up with a snide comment (as some have done) but we all do a ton of everyday activities without really thinking through why we do them. Or why exactly certain ways work better than others.

And, as @VulchR said, you never know what seemingly trivial discoveries end up having wide reaching and important applications.
 

niploteksi

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Dec 11, 2016
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I was just about to post this. The first impulse is to come up with a snide comment (as some have done) but we all do a ton of everyday activities without really thinking through why we do them. Or why exactly certain ways work better than others.

And, as @VulchR said, you never know what seemingly trivial discoveries end up having wide reaching and important applications.
Having studied mechanics myself (a long time ago) I was quite intrigued by tying knots on my headphone cord and watch the torsion and counter force on the cord. Way beyond my current skills to form theories about it though.
 

VulchR

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Having studied mechanics myself (a long time ago) I was quite intrigued by tying knots on my headphone cord and watch the torsion and counter force on the cord. Way beyond my current skills to form theories about it though.

If I recall a popular press article correctly, somebody has explained why headphone cords mysteriously tie themselves into Gorgon's knots just randomly jostling about in a pocket... Personally, I blame the same people who steal socks out of the washing machine.
 
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jerwin

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Jun 13, 2015
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The reporter certainly has a bee in his bonnet.
A two-year project at UC Berkeley also has found that a lot of people don’t know the best way to tie their shoes, including the scientist who performed the study.
The study was published Tuesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A of London alongside articles about airbags, tsunamis and the Japanese art of paper folding.
Some people will do everything they can to minimize the importance of scientific research.

The paper on "the Japanese art of Paper Folding" has implications for how satellites and space craft are designed.

And the paper on shoelaces was not an attempt to restate common sense, but rather, an attempt to figure out how knots untie themselves.

"Ooh, would you look at that. What a waste of money. We should all storm the University gates and burn the libraries!"