Knot theory is dealing with embedding of curves in manifolds of dimension 3. A knot is a single circle embedded in the affine space of dimension 3 as a smooth curve not crossing itself. Many knot invariants are known and can be used to distinguish knots.

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The relations between some 3-components links and trefoil knots

It is intuitive to see that the 3-components links (under Alexander–Briggs notations) $6^3_1, 6^3_2, 6^3_3$ are closely related to each other; in a sense by doing a cut-gluing or sew-gluing surgery, ...
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Why is a braided left autonomous category also right autonomous?

In Selinger, P. A survey of graphical languages for monoidal categories (New Structures for Physics, Springer, 2011, 813, 289-233), it is stated that: Lemma 4.17 ([23, Prop. 7.2]). A braided ...
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Practical application of lattice knots

I am looking for examples of practical applications of lattice knots. Any help?
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The Markov trace via Bott-Samelson fibers?

Let $H_n$ be the Hecke algebra of GL(n), i.e., the algebra over $\mathbb{Q}(q)$ with generators $T_1, \ldots, T_{n-1}$ which satisfy the braid relations and also $T^2 = (q-1) T + q$. Recall the ...
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Do we get a instanton $S^{3}$ if we do $1/n$ surgery on a knot in $S^{3}$?

Consider the following question: If $K\subset S^{3}$ is a nontrivial knot. Let $Y$ be the manifold obtained by doing $1/n$-surgery ($n\geq1$). Is it possible that the instanton Floer homology of $Y$ ...
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Clarification of Gabai's exposition of Murasugi Sums in 'the Murasugi sum is a natural geometric operation'

Gabai states that the Murasugi sum of two hopf bands yields a spanning surface of either the figure eight knot, the trefoil knot or a link of three components. Figure one shows two oppositely twisted ...
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Does the shortest path between two braids pass through string links?

One of the fundamental facts underlying the application of braid theory to knot theory is that braids inject into string links. This means that braids $B_1$ and $B_2$, considered inside a cube $I^3$, ...
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Jones polynomial of 2-knots

Question: is it possible to define the Jones polynomial for knotted surfaces (or $S^2$ for simplicity) in $R^4$? Jones polynomial has several definitions (see How many definitions are there of the ...
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417 views

Is this knot invariant already treated somewhere in the literature?

Fix a knot type $K \subset S^3$, and consider the set $$Y_K = \{ \mbox{Diagrams of }K \} / \mbox{planar isotopy}.$$ We can turn $Y_K$ into a metric space by considering the distance induced by ...
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Are Fourier series of length 2 'asymmetric enough' to generate all crossing patterns? - A reformulation of the Fourier-(1,1,2) knot question

Given $N$ pairs of distinct real numbers $t_i, t'_i \in [0,1]$, $i = 1,\ldots,N$, we ask if there is a function $f(x) = \cos(2\pi mx+\alpha) + \gamma\cdot \cos(2\pi nx+\beta)$, with $m, n \in ...
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137 views

Handlebody decomposition of a 3-manifold adapted to a link

Given a compact connected 3-manifold $M$ with non-empty boundary, and a link $L \subset M$, is there a handlebody decomposition of $M = H^0 \cup (\cup_i H^1_i) \cup \{\text{2-handles}\}$ such that: ...
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Ribbon knot presentations

Suppose $K$ is a $n$-knot, $n\geq 2$, which bounds two different ribbon disks $D_1, D_2$. These ribbon disks induce unique ribbon $(n+1)$-knots $K_1, K_2$ respectively. Is it known whether $K_1$ and ...
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4answers
746 views

What properties of knots lead Lord Kelvin to hypothesize that atoms were knots in the ether?

I've often heard that Lord Kelvin was one of the first people to study knot theory, as he hypothesized that atoms were knots in the ether. I assume that he had some compelling evidence for this fact. ...
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1answer
100 views

Is there a criterion for a link complement to have a hyperbolic structure with finite volume

For many links in $S^3$, the link complement can be equipped with a Riemannian structure which is complete, of constant sectional curvature -1, and has finite volume (i.e., a hyperbolic structure with ...
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98 views

Bitangent locus of torus knots

Anyone know how to compute the bitangent locus of a space curve, e.g. a torus knot (pick whatever parametrization you like)? Specifically, what is the set of normal vectors (in the two-sphere) of ...
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81 views

Entangled helical knots

Consider a pair of disjoint, congruent helices $H_1$ and $H_2$ passing through one another in the following sense. (Caveat lector: This question is not of general interest! It is also long.) $H_1$ is ...
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288 views

What constant ensures hyperbolicity of Dehn surgery?

I am interested in showing that certain knots having a surgery description are hyperbolic. Unfortunately I have not had time yet to read Thurston's work, so my understanding of this is vague. But from ...
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2answers
190 views

Freely Periodic map of $(S^{3} , K) $ and a fixed loop in the induced isomorphism of $\pi_{1} ( S^{3} \backslash K )$

Let $K$ be a link in $S^{3}$ and $f: S^{3} \rightarrow S^{3} $ a freely periodic map of order $n$ with $f(K) = K$. Let $\psi_{f} : \pi_{1} ( S^{3} \backslash K ) \rightarrow \pi_{1} ( S^{3} ...
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151 views

The cyclic branched covers of “simple” knots in $S^3$

Is there a convenient place in the literature where the geometric decompositions of cyclic branched covers of $S^3$ branched over "small" knots is recorded? By small knots, I'm referring to things ...
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157 views

Is there a combinatorial version of PL ambient isotopy in dimension $>3$?

The classical PL Reidemeister Theorem reads: Reidemeister Theorem: Two knots in $S^3$ are PL ambient isotopic if and only if any diagram of one can be transformed into a diagram of the other by ...
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145 views

Knots indistinguishable by HOMFLY

Is there any list (incomplete of course) of knots, that have similar HOMFLY polynomials? I am mainly interested in torus knots.
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Getting surgery link from Heegaard splitting

From Lickorish-Wallace theorem, every 3-manifold is an integral surgery on a link in $S^3$. From its proof from Saveliev's book, it seems obvious that if I know the Heegaard splitting of a closed ...
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204 views

How do I efficiently find a sequence of Reidemeister moves between equivalent link diagrams?

In knot theory, two link diagrams are equivalent if and only if they can be related by performing a finite number of Reidemeister moves. But sometimes it is so confusing that I don't know which type ...
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542 views

Kontsevich integral : state of the art

The Kontsevich integral is known to be a universal Vassiliev invariant. It is still an open question whether it is a complete knot invariant, i.e. whether it distinguishes a given knot from all other ...
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518 views

What is the state of the art for algorithmic knot simplification?

Question: Given a `hard' diagram of a knot, with over a hundred crossings, what is the best algorithm and software tool to simplify it? Will it also simplify virtual knot diagrams, tangle diagrams, ...
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More questions about high-dimensional knot invariants

In a question yesterday I asked about the existence of algebraic invariants for embeddings of n-manifolds into n+2-spheres. The answers in the positive dimension all made certain assumptions about ...
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Invariants of high-dimensional knots

In the study of knots in three dimensions, it can be shown that the fundamental group together with a specification of a meridian and longitude form a complete invariant for knots. What is known about ...
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273 views

Commutativity in the Fundamental Group and Knot Theory

Let $M$ be a connected $3$-manifold and let $\alpha$ and $\beta$ be elements in $\pi_1(M)$. Then $\alpha$ and $\beta$ can be represented by two knots $a$ and $b$ in $M$. We may further require that ...
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429 views

Knots and Dynamics. Recent breakthroughs?

I recently started reading Étienne Ghys slides on knots and dynamics <http://www.umpa.ens-lyon.fr/~ghys/articles/icm.pdf> which seem very interesting. I know this approach to knots and dynamics is ...
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372 views

Looking for “large knot” examples

This question is about knots and links in the 3-sphere. I want to find an example of a "large" knot or link with some special properties. I'm looking for some fairly specific examples, but I'm also ...
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581 views

Representing SU(3) with 3 ropes in 3 dimensions

The short question is: how exactly is SU(3) realized with ropes? The long question: There is this idea that deformations of a configuration of three infinitely long, flexible ropes that cross each ...
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Is the normalised Kauffman bracket more powerful than the Kauffman bracket?

The Kauffman bracket polynomial for a knot diagram $D$ is a Laurent polynomial $\langle D \rangle \in \mathbb{Z}[A, A^{-1}]$. Although it is invariant under Reidemeister moves of type II and III, ...
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How does Thurston's Orbifold Geometrization imply that knots with meridional rank 2 are 2-bridge?

Problem 1.11 of Kirby's list asks whether every knot that has a knot group which can be generated by n meridians, but not less than n, is an n-bridge knot. There is a one-sentence update, saying that ...
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1answer
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Two links with the same signatures but unknown if they are related by Kirby moves

I am wondering if there are links $L_1, L_2$ in the sphere $S^3$ such that: the signatures of $L_1, L_2$ are known. we do not know if they are related by Kirby moves. If so, could you specify the ...
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Kauffman's state model for the Alexander polynomial, via representation theory

I've been reading Oleg Viro's paper on "quantum relatives of the Alexander polynomial" (arXiv:math/0204290), which, among other more general things, derives state-sum formulas for the Alexander ...
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1answer
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Piecewise Smooth Knot Theory

In introductory knot theory books, authors usually make a choice of smooth knots or piecewise-linear knots. I often find myself wanting to work in the larger setting of piecewise-smooth knots which ...
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Is a generic link diagram semi-adequate?

Each crossing in a link diagram of a link $L$ has an A-resolution and a B-resolution. Resolving all crossings gives a collection of circles in the plane, connected by dotted lines. A state of a ...
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Knot group epimorphism from a prime knot

The knot group of a knot $K$ is the fundamental group of the knot complement $\pi_{1} (S^{3} \backslash K )$ (sometimes denoted $\pi_{1} (K)$ ). Let $f: \pi_{1} (K) \rightarrow \pi_{1} (L) $ be a ...
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1answer
194 views

The knot group of a prime knot

The fundamental group of a knot $K$ (otherwise known as the knot group) is the fundamental group of the knot complement $S^{3} \backslash K $ in $S^{3} $. In "Virtual Knots: The State of the Art" ...
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What are the homotopy classes of two-component links in $\mathbb{RP}^3$?

This question comes from an unanswered question on Math Stack Exchange. A two-component link in $\mathbb{RP}^3$ is any embedding $S^1\uplus S^1\to \mathbb{RP}^3$. Two such links are homotopic if ...
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Reference for a theorem on crossing changes of links

I've recently stumbled upon a paper of Scharlemann on crossing changes: link text In particular I am interested in understanding Theorem 2.2 (page 6): "Theorem: If links A and B are related by a ...
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313 views

Semidirect product decomposition of the Borromean rings group

Let $X=S^3\setminus B$ be the link complement of the Borromean rings. Then $G=\pi_1(X)$ has a presentation of the form $$ G = \langle \; a,b,c \mid [a,[b^{-1},c]],\; [b,[c^{-1},a]], \; ...
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{0,1} Maslov potentials on Legendrian knots

A Legendrian knot is a curve in $\mathbb{R}^3$ on which $dz - ydx$ vanishes identically. Its projection to the $x,z$ plane is called a front diagram; as we can recover $y = dz/dx$ this determines the ...
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1answer
119 views

Is every quasipositive knot strongly quasipositive?

A link is called quasipositive if it has a special braid diagram, namely a product of conjugates of the positive standard generators of the braid group. If this product only contains words of the form ...
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Measures of entangledness of an open curve

Let $\gamma$ be a simple (non-self-intersecting) open curve in $\mathbb{R}^3$. I am seeking a measure of its degree of "entangledness," some measure that accords with the intuition one senses with a ...
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Why do knot cobordisms result in functoriality with respect to knot homologies so often?

Why do knot cobordisms result in functoriality with respect to knot homologies so often?
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319 views

Are small knots generic?

A knot in S^3 is small if its complement does not contain a closed incompressible surface. Is it a generic property for knots, meaning that among all knots with less than $n$ crossings, the proportion ...
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2answers
224 views

Can distinct open knots correspond to the same closed knot?

A topological ("closed") knot is an embedding of a circle in $\mathbb{R}^3$. It's possible for a knot to be distinct from the unknot because there are no free ends to move around and untie the knot. ...
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265 views

When do two positive braids represent the same link?

Let $B_n$ be the braid group on $n$ strands, with the usual generators: $s_1, \ldots, s_{n-1}$ and their inverses, where $s_i$ is a positive half-twist interchanging the strands labelled $i$ and ...
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Questions about knot (link) of surface in four dimension

Consider three 2-torus ($S^1*S^1$) living in four space. Can I have links of these objects, which is generalization of links of circles in 3D? If so, how can I judge whether three 2-torus are linked ...