PHY 2048L
Lab 10

Tying Knots

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Updated: 11/21/2005

Experience quickly showed me that many students have little or no knowledge of how to tie knots. (This crosses gender lines, with young women from rural areas knowing how to do it because they had been taught to fish, while young men from the city might never have had any reason to learn this skill.)

I took these pictures so you could have a chance to look over the steps and practice them at home before coming to the lab. That way, you can focus on making the measurements.


Slip Knot

The easiest way to tie one rod onto the end of the string is to use a slip knot. This makes it fairly easy to replace one rod with another as you do part 1 of the lab. (Tying the wooden rod at a point a bit above a metal one, in part 2 of the lab, is trickier, but only has to be done once so a more permanent knot can be used and the string cut off when you are done.)

This knot is made by tying a knot around the string itself, so you start by looping the string over and around the long ("standing") part of the string

slip knot, step 1

and then tying a simple hitch to form the part that will slip:

slip knot, step 2

(This can be pulled tighter than shown here.) You then tie one more hitch to keep the knot secure

slip knot, step 3

and pull it tight (but not so tight that it cannot slide)

slip knot, step 4

and you are done. Trim some of the excess string from the free end.


Overhand Knot (making a simple loop)

In this lab, and one other lab, you will need to attach a string to a hook. The way to do this is to make a loop on the end of the string by just tying an overhand knot after making a "bight" (a loop) at the end of the string. It might take a few tries to get the loop the right size.

You start by making a loop at the end of the string:

overhand knot, step 1

You then handle this loop like it was a single piece of rope, bringing it over itself

overhand knot, step 2

and then under and through the circle

overhand knot, step 3

and pull it tight

overhand knot, step 4

and you are done. Trim some of the excess string from the free end.


 ?? Contact me if you have any questions.