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Not sure if this is a physics question or not. If its not, perhaps you can further direct me. I have two necklace chains, on is shorter and thinner than the other one. Through out the day the two chains will become twisted around each other. I have to untangle them numerous times a day. Why does this happen? Would it still happen if the two chains are the same thickness while remaining different lengths?
Thank you for any and all help

Believe it or not, that's a fascinating question for study.  I wish I could get it on video so that I could formulate a model.  Sadly, the motion of things that start and stop in discrete motions (shaking and flowing granular material like sand/corn/coal/gravel, twisting things with limits like chains) are rich in physics.  Generally, the thinner one should twist and catch more than the other one.  Is that the one that ends up wrapped around the thicker chain?  I would intuitively expect that it would be.  If they were the same thickness, it would be less likely to be problematic, but that's just an educated guess.  Again, ridiculously complex physics that is very specific to the system involved.


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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson


I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.


I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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