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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A special ribbon graph presents a cylinder.

I am reading "Quantum Invariants of Knots and 3-Manifolds" by Turaev. I have a dificulty to understand the proof of Lemma 2.6 on page 172. The lemma says that a special ribbon graph drawn on page 167 ...
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Is there a two-variable E8 polynomial? (Conjectural or proven)

On MO I learnt about the two-variable E7 polynomial (status: conjectural). What about a two-variable E8 polynomial? I have reasons to believe such a thing exists too, but I do magic, not math, so my ...
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Higher homotopy groups of slice disk complement

Let $K \subseteq{\mathbb{S}}^3=∂\mathbb{D}^4$ be a non-trivial slice knot, i.e. $K$ bounds a slice disk $\Delta$ in $\mathbb{D}^4$. Let $N(\Delta)$ be a regular neighborhood of $\Delta$ in ...
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What is the metamathematical interpretation of knot diagrams?

I am not a geometric topologist, but from looking over papers in the field, it's clear that knot diagrams are a major tool and we know how to use them in a way that is rigorous and trustworthy. My ...
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Knot Invariants from Twisted Quantum Doubles

In "Topological Gauge Theories and Group Cohomology", Dijkgraaf and Witten construct a 3-manifold invariant from a finite group $G$ and 3-cocycle $\omega$. I would think there is also an associated ...
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Unknotting knots in 4D

Suppose one has a knot $K$ embedded in $\mathbb{R}^3$; but view $\mathbb{R}^3$ as a 3-flat in $\mathbb{R}^4$. Of course $K$ is not a knot in $\mathbb{R}^4$. I am wondering if there has been any study ...
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Quantum E6/E7 knot polynomials

Has anybody seen seen quantum knot invariants associated to (E6, 27) or (E7, 56) worked out in the literature? Even for just simple knots like the trefoil or figure-8? I suspect these haven't been ...
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Knot symmetries and the Alexander polynomial

Let $K\subset S^3$ be a knot. Suppose there is an involution, $f$, of $S^3$ such that $f(K)=K$, and the fixed points of $f$ do not lie on $K$ itself. Furthermore assume that the orientations of $f(K)$ ...
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316 views

Why Tristram-Levine signature jumps at the zeros of alexander polynomial?

It seems easy but I can't prove it. Can anyone give proof or reference?
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What vector space does the Kauffman bracket skein algebra of FxI act on?

The Kauffman bracket skein module $K_t(F\times I)$ (where $t$ is an indeterminant and $F$ is a closed surface) is an associative algebra (the operation being "stacking" links in the $I$ direction). ...
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Measuring the complexity of a knot by minimum number of simplices to tile the complement

This is essentially a duplicate of: Lower bound on number of tetrahedra needed to triangulate a knot complement Suppose a knot $K\subseteq\mathbb S^3$ is such that the complement $\mathbb ...
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Growth of knots possible with rope of length L

What is the asymptotics (in L) for the number of topologically different knots possible using a perfectly flexible, non-selfintersecting rope of length L and radius 1? (With ends glued together after ...
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Why “Categorify”? Relating to link/knot homologies…

Hey Everyone! So I am new blood in the topic of Khovanov Homology and related topics. According to my basic reading the idea is to get the Jones polynomial as the Euler Characteristic of a certain ...
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987 views

Self-tightening knot

Is there a way, for some finite L>1, to tie two pieces of rope together, such that any finite force is not enough to pull them apart? The type of rope I have in mind is something like cylindrical ...
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520 views

Knots that are not knots [closed]

1) Classic Knotting problem: Classify embeddings of circle into 3D Euclidean space up to isotopy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knot_theory 2) General topological knotting problem: Classify embeddings ...
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Does anyone know this sequence of polynomials?

A referee on a paper of mine showed me the following recurrence for polynomials $P_{n,k}\in\mathbb Q[q,q^{-1}]$ for $n\geq 0$ and $0\leq k\leq n/2$. ...
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333 views

Connected Sum Decomposition of a Knot

Given a composite knot, is it possible to decompose it in prime knots by an algorithm that runs in polynomial time?
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359 views

Is there a known method for finding the minimum bridge index of a knot?

It is easy to establish an upper bound $n$ for the bridge index of a knot by producing a diagram with the knot in $n$-bridge position. Is there a known method to produce a reasonable lower bound ...
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858 views

Is there a periodic table for knots?

When I see knot tables, I have two feeling: ah, it's beautiful, and... painful. I don't see how knots are ordered in the knot table, the way to go from one knot of a certain crossing number to ...
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a special type of 2 component link complement

It is well know that a 2 component link complement may doesn't detect the link type. My question is whether the following type of 2 component links detect their link types? Such a link is composed ...
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Knots that turn around an axis [closed]

Take a thick cord (the alim cord of your laptop or your mouse cord for example) and wrap it around your hand (or finger) turning always in the same direction but possibly knotting it. Then try to ...
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613 views

Does there exist infinitely many prime knots?

I'm not a topologist and I just saw the definition of prime knot a while ago. Today I'm somewhat supprised to realize that I don't even know if there are infinitely many prime knots? If this ...
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Knot polynomials of non-crystallographic Coxeter groups?

I learnt that the Coxeter groups have a few members more than the classic simple Lie groups: $H_3, H_4$ and $I_2(p)$. Is there a Reshetikhin-Turaev invariant for those, too? If not, where does the ...
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First cohomology of the space of long knots in R^4

Let's consider the space of long knots in $\mathbb R^n, n>3$. I know that there are many results (Vassiliev, Turchin, Sinha, Kontsevich) about different expressions of cohomology of this space. I ...
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Traces on Hecke algebras and the Jones polynomial

In his famous paper "Hecke algebra representations of braid groups and link polynomials," (Annals 1987), Jones uses a compatible family of traces $tr_z$ on the Iwahori-Hecke algebras $H(q,n)$ of type ...
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Fox differential calculus and the Alexander invariant of a link

I am teaching a course in knot theory, and I would like to describe the presentation of the Alexander module of a link obtained via Fox differential calculus. In doing this, I should prove the ...
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Is there a “knot theory” for graphs?

I think knot theory has been studied for quite a while (like a century or so), so I'm just wondering whether there is a "knot theory" for graphs, i.e. the study of (topological properties of) ...
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Reshetikhin-Turaev and links with a distinguished component

Hi, This question came up to me when reading the paper of Cartier on Vassiliev invariants, but it can probably be turned into a more general question. Let $T$ be the category whose objects are ...
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A knot complexity measure

Construct a knot/link by fusing two n-tangles together. (A tangle matrix shows how this might look for tangles with 6 legs. But lets use 4 legs for a start as this is far simpler.) Now, any rational ...
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Kontsevich Integral without associators?

Recall the fact that the representations of a quantum group form a braided tensor category, and this corresponds to the fact that $U_q(\mathfrak g)$ is a quasi-triangular Hopf algebra. The braiding ...
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346 views

A Category of Knot Diagrams

A brief explanation of my motivation before I ask my question. I am trying to understand Skein relations, the Jones polynomial, and their relations to Khovanov homology. To me, the natural setting to ...
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116 views

Spectral decomposition of R matrix -> Wenzl projectors?

Just curious: if you take a R matrix from knot theory and apply a spectral decomposition (see. e.g. my following post Matrix decomposition the other way) you'll get projectors: ...
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Number of the Reidemeister moves needed to transform one diagram into another one

A recent question Random Reidemeister moves to unknot contains a link to the paper http://www.ams.org/journals/jams/2001-14-02/S0894-0347-01-00358-7/S0894-0347-01-00358-7.pdf, in which J. Hass and J. ...
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Around the Montesino-Nakanishi 3-move

I have a few questions around the 3-move. I know it's NOT an unknotting move (but who needs knots with 20+ crossings anyway :-) by the recent proof of Przytycki. 1. In another paper about the third ...
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Random Reidemeister moves to unknot

Suppose one has a link diagram of the unknot, and applies random Reidemeister moves until the unknot is reached. Surely it requires an exponential number of moves, exponential in, say, the crossing ...
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Recovering the Alexander Polynomial from Ocneanu's HOMFLYPT

Let $H_q(n)$ denote the Hecke algebra associated to the symmetric group $S(n)$: this is the $\mathbb{Z}[q^{\pm 1/2}]$ algebra generated by $T_1, \ldots, T_{n-1}$ satisfying the braid relations along ...
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Untangling a graph

Assume you have a 4-valent graph (i.e., a knot universe, i.e. a collection of self-intersecting curves). Your allowed moves are the equivalents of Reidemeister 1, 2, 3, just with 4-nodes instead of ...
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Is it possible to reliably generate a particular approximation of an ideal knot via a simulated annealing approach?

Say I take a cord, tie a loose knot in three-dimensional space, and pull tightly on the ends to generate an approximation of an ideal knot. If the cord has a fixed knot topology and a random initial ...
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Understanding Penrose diagrammatical notation

I arrived to Penrose's paper Applications of negative dimensional Tensors after reading some bits of Baez's Prehistory (link) and the first two chapters of Turaev's Quantum invariants of knots and ...
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327 views

Knot polynomials: Skein>Matrix>Group?

OK, the heading was a bit tersely formulated... If you have a quantum group and an irrep, you theoretically know the R matrix (mathematicians are a notoriously idle lot, they give the general formula ...
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Examples of Non-algebraic Fibered Knots?

I am currently reading a monograph by Jose Seade, " On the topology of isolated singularities in analytic spaces". I have following questions but before asking questions I recall the definition of ...
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How does one relate the monodromy of the KZ equations with the WRT representation of the braid group?

The KZ equations on the configuration space of $n$ distinct points in $\mathbb C$ give rise to a representation of $B_n$ on $V^{\otimes n}$, where $V$ is any given representation of $SL(2)$ (we'll ...
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What are the statistics of prime knots in 3d Random walk?

This question on physics stackexchange http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/12973/the-entropic-cost-of-tying-knots-in-polymers has a formulation which is perhaps more appropriate for this forum. ...
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646 views

Torus knots in Euclidean space — a symmetry argument

Consider a $(p,q)$ torus knot $K$ in 3-dimensional Euclidean space $\mathbb R^3$ where $p,q \geq 2$ and $\operatorname{GCD}(p,q)=1$. Let $\operatorname{Isom}(\mathbb R^3,K)$ be the isometries of ...
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What is the complex structure on the boundary torus of a hyperbolic knot complement?

Let $K$ be a hyperbolic knot in $\mathbb S^3$. Restrict the corresponding representation $\pi_1(\mathbb S^3\setminus K)\to\operatorname{PSL}(2,\mathbb C)$ to the fundamental group of the boundary ...
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Is the category of tangles that includes, X, Y, and Lambda a free Frobenius braided category?

Consider the category whose objects are non-negative integers that are represented as dots along a line, and whose morphisms are generated by $X$---positive crossing, $\bar{X}$ --- negative crossing, ...
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Is the complete functorial structure for Khovanov--Lee homology known?

I'm interested in Lee's modification of Khovanov homology, which I'll denote $\operatorname{Kh}_{\operatorname{Lee}}^\ast$. Below $L$ is a link in $\mathbb R^3$. The groups ...
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subset embedding gives trefoil knot [closed]

Let $X$ be a topological space and $E_n(X)$ the space of finite sets of cardinality $\leq n$. It is a theorem of Bott that $E_3(S^1)=S^3$. What is the idea to show that the embedding ...
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What is the three-dimensional hyperbolic volume of a four-manifold?

Every smooth closed orientable 4-manifold may be constructed via a handle decomposition. Before asking a couple of questions, I recall some well-known facts about handle-decompositions of 4-manifolds. ...
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Knot Numerology

EDIT: Ok, I condense it to only that what is needed. Assume it's possible to use the method described here Matrix decomposition the other way to decompose a $S$ matrix from knot theory. Then each ...