The 85 Ways to Tie a Tie: The Science and Aesthetics of Tie Knots

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9781841155685: The 85 Ways to Tie a Tie: The Science and Aesthetics of Tie Knots
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Two physicists prove that there are not just four ways to tie a tie, but a further 81. Tie Knots unravels the history of ties, the story of the discovery of the new knots and some very elegant mathematics in action. If Einstein had been left alone in Tie Rack for long enough perhaps he would have worked it out : why do people tie their ties in only 4 ways? And how many other possibilities are there? Two Cambridge University physicists, research fellows working from the Cavendish laboratories, have discovered via a recherche branch of mathematics - knot theory - that although only four knots are traditionally used in tying neck ties another 81 exist. This is the story of their discovery, of the history of neck ties and of the equations that express whether a tie is handsome or not. Of the 81 new knots, 6 are practical and elegant. We now have somewhere else to go after the Pratt, the Four-in-Hand, the Full and Half Windsor. Sartorial stylishness is wrapped effortlessly around popular mathematics. A concept developed to describe the movement of gas molecules - the notion of persistent walks around a triangular lattice - also describes the options for tie tying. Pure maths becomes pure fashion in a delightfully designed little package from Fourth Estate.

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From the Inside Flap:

here was only one. In the 1930s, Edward, the Prince of Wales, became the unwitting embodiment of two more, even though he in fact wore neither. It was not until 1989 that a fourth became popular. Throughout the 150-year his-tory of the modern tie, only four tie knots have been recognized. That is, until now.

In this history of and guide to tie wearing, Thomas Fink and Yong Mao trace the peculiar evolution of the knotted neckcloth from the seventeenth century to its modern form. These two Cambridge physicists applied a model more often used to describe atomic motion to the twists and turns of this central item of men's dress. They discovered eighty-five ways to tie a tie, thirteen of which survived their aesthetic test, and earned their recommendation. The result is a rich blend of history, science, fashion, and practicality that will become the must-have accessory for all well-dressed men.

Wonderfully illustrated and wittily written, this little classic of sartorial elegance

From the Back Cover:

"In an elegant world, an irreproachable tie knot is an essential part of one's toilette; it does not matter whether the knot is simple or complicated, because the art is what counts. There are some knots which seem casual in appearance, but which have taken considerable labour before the mirror, and many a stamped foot, many an exclamation of impatience."
-- Doctor A. Debray Hygiene Vestimentaire, 1857

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