The researchers say that once the loosening begins, there’s no stopping it. AFP / PRAKASH MATHEMA AND PRAKASH MATHEMA
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A mystery as old as laced shoes was unraveled Wednesday by experiments that reveal how shoestrings come undone when we are on the move.Millions of shoelaces surely come unfurled every day, and yet the mechanics of that process had never been thoroughly examined.To tackle the enigma, a trio of mechanical engineers at the University of California at Berkeley filmed a knot – on the shoe of a researcher running on a treadmill – coming undone in extreme slow motion. Then – as the knot relaxes – the leg swings into motion, applying additional force.Of the two most commonly used knots to tie shoes, one is "weak" and the other "strong," the study found.
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