Authors: Robert A.J. Matthews
We describe an empirical study of the formation of knots in open and closed self-avoiding walks (SAWs), based on a simple model involving randomly agitated cords. The results suggest that the probability of a closed SAW remaining knot-free follows a similar scaling law to that for open-ended SAWs. In particular, the process of closing a given SAW prior to random agitation substantially increases the probability that it will be knot-free following agitation. The results point to a remedy for the well-known problem of tangling of cord, rope, headphone cables etc. The simple act of connecting the two free ends to each other, thus creating a loop, greatly reduces the risk of such tangling. Other implications, in particular for DNA storage in cells, are briefly discussed.
Comments: 2 Pages.
[v1] 21 Nov 2009
Unique-IP document downloads: 478 times
Add your own feedback and questions here:
You are equally welcome to be positive or negative about any paper but please be polite. If you are being critical you must mention at least one specific error, otherwise your comment will be deleted as unhelpful.