‘Knitting is Coding’ and Yarn is Programmable in This Physics Lab


During his introductory remarks, Dr. Reis had a vexing encounter with an intertwined microphone wire. “This is a good example of why we really care about this topic,” he stated.

Dr. Reis grapples with the likes of long-overhand shoelace knotting, climbing knots, basket weaving, surgical sutures, and methods to cross on the artwork of surgical-knot craftsmanship to robots. During the session, his lab mates described how they’d used a CT scan to probe the interior construction of knot filaments and the friction that arises the place filaments contact. After the assembly, Dr. Matsumoto despatched him dwelling with a few of her swatches.

Derek Moulton, of the University of Oxford, talked about variants of sailor’s knots, DNA and protein knots, and worms that tie themselves into knots in order to attenuate dehydration. He went on talk about “whether a knotted filament with zero points of self-contact may be realized physically.” That is, can a knot exist whereby none of its crossings contact? (It can; strive it at dwelling with a strip of paper, or a wire.)

And Thomas Plumb-Reyes, an utilized physicist at Harvard, introduced his analysis on “Detangling Hair” to a standing-room-only viewers.

“What is going on in tangled hair?” he requested. “What is the optimal combing strategy?”

Shashank Markande, a Ph.D. scholar working with Dr. Matsumoto, reported on their sew classification work thus far. Together, they’d derived a conjecture: All knittable stitches have to be ribbon knots. (A ribbon knot is a really technical tangle.) And they contemplated the corollary: Are all ribbon knots knittable?

Back in February, Mr. Markande (who began knitting solely lately for the sake of science) thought he’d discovered an instance of an unknittable ribbon knot, utilizing a knots-and-links software program program known as SnapPy. He despatched Dr. Matsumoto a textual content message with a sketch: “Tell me if this can be knitted?”

Dr. Matsumoto was simply heading out for a run, and by the point she returned, having manipulated the yarn each which means in her head, she had labored out a solution. “I think that can be knitted,” she texted again. When Mr. Markande pressed her on how, she added: “It’s knittable by our rules, but it isn’t trivial to do with needles.”



Source link Nytimes.com

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