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Why won’t my shoes stay tied? Scientists are trying to figure it out.

Oliver O’Reilly has a dilemma that plagues most of us.

“I have a chronic problem with my
—they keep untying,” he told PopSci. “I never
understood quite why that happened.”

O’Reilly, a professor of mechanical engineering at the
University of California, Berkeley wasn’t interested in tying a
—at least not yet. He and his colleagues, Christopher
Daily-Diamond and Christine Gregg, simply sought to understand
the mechanism behind this ceaseless shoelace vexation. The
results of their inquiry were published today in the journal

Proceedings of the Royal Society A

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