It’s not just you. Earbuds all over the world are tangling spontaneously in people’s pockets. It’s such a persistent, albeit first-world, problem that a group at the University of San Diego has plotted the relationship between knot probability and string length in a paper entitled “Spontaneous Knotting of an Agitated String.”
And another far-too-qualified institution has stepped up to find a practical solution to the problem. Professor of Physics Robert Matthews determined that sure fire way to keep earbuds untangled is to clip them at two places before cramming them into your pocket.
Matthews explains that first clipping the earbuds together and then clipping them to a spot on the cord near the audio jack “effectively reduce[s] the length of string able to explore the 3-D space by 50 percent,” which is perhaps an unnecessarily fancy explanation for something that becomes pretty intuitive when you look at the diagram.
The next problem: where the heck do I get an earbud clip? And how am I going to keep from losing those things?
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