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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15
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2answers
272 views

Classification of tangles?

Has anybody done any work on making a classification of low-complexity tangles, analogous to the work for knots and links? I expect most of the small ones to be rational, and those that aren't ...
22
votes
1answer
150 views

The Jones polynomial at specific values of $t$.

I've been calculating some Jones polynomials lately and I was just curious if there was a physical meaning to evaluating the Jones polynomial at a particular value of $t$. For example, if I take the ...
5
votes
1answer
225 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
124 views

Parity of knot signatures

I recently came upon a recursive formula for the (ordinary) signatures of torus knots. The formula, which I found in Murasugi's book "Knot Theory and Applications" (Springer, 2007), originally ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Computable link invariants

I am interested in the following situation: given a braid $B$, it induces a link $L$ in a pretty straightforward way ("glue" the endpoints, like here). For a braid $B$, we know how to represent it in ...
12
votes
0answers
152 views

What do tangles teach us about braids?

A braid is a smooth level-preserving embedding $f\colon\, \{1,2,\ldots,n\}\times[0,1]\hookrightarrow \mathbb{R}^2 \times [0,1]$ such that $f(k,0)=(k,0)$ and $f(k,1) \in \{1,2,\ldots,n\} \times ...
73
votes
10answers
7k views

Are there any very hard unknots?

Some years ago I took a long piece of string, tied it into a loop, and tried to twist it up into a tangle that I would find hard to untangle. No matter what I did, I could never cause the later me any ...
10
votes
2answers
478 views

Is every knot unavoidable in the embeddings of some graph?

Is it the case that, for any given knot $K$, there exists some graph $G$ whose every embedding into $\mathbb{R}^3$ (or into $\mathbb{S}^3$) contains a cycle that realizes $K$? I know the ...
2
votes
3answers
226 views

Heegaard Floer Homology of double branched cover

The question is the following: Let $K\subset S^{3}$ be a knot, consider the double branched cover $Y$ of $S^{3}$ over $K$. We know $Y$ has a unique spin structure $\mathfrak{s}$, now the question is: ...
2
votes
1answer
183 views

Knot invariants in 3-manifolds that are not $\mathbb{R}^3$ or $S^3$ or $B^3$?

This is just a reference request; I have no sharp mathematical question. Inspired by the $(3+)$-year old MO question, In knot theory: Benefits of working in $S^3$ instead of $\mathbb{R}^3$?, I would ...
4
votes
2answers
333 views

How to tell if two or more knots are linked

Given a number of knots, I would like to know if they are linked. I know that the linking number can tell if two knots are linked. There is any method that completely solves this problem?
3
votes
1answer
105 views

Khovanov $sl_2$ homology of a connected sum of some torus knots

Let $T_{p,q}$ be the (p,q) torus knot. Could anybody possibly compute either unreduced or reduced Khovanov $\mathfrak{sl}(2)$ homology of the connected sum $T_{2,3} \sharp T_{3,4}$ of the (2,3) and ...
-2
votes
1answer
257 views

Do homeomorphic complements give homotopic knots?

Maybe this question is too trivial for a research site but there are so many notions of equivalence of knots that I am lost in literature. The question that interests me is the following. A knot is a ...
4
votes
2answers
327 views

Jones polynomial of the concatenation of two braids

Let $\sigma_1$ and $\sigma_2$ be two braids with $n$-strings. Are there any formulas relating $J_{\widehat{\sigma_1\sigma_2}}(q)$, $J_{\hat{\sigma_1}}(q)$, and $J_{\hat{\sigma_2}}(q)$? Here, ...
5
votes
0answers
104 views

Crossing bound implies Reidemeister move bound?

In 1998 Galatolo established an upper bound on the number of Reidemeister moves needed to convert a diagram $D$ of the unknot into a trivial loop diagram. The upper bound is a function of $n$, the ...
0
votes
0answers
93 views

Alexander Invariant of Torus knot

I am very interested in knot theory, especially in knot groups and knot polynomials. As is well known, it is easy to calculate the Alexander polynomial from the fundamental group $\pi_{1}(K)$ of a ...
7
votes
3answers
198 views

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 ...
5
votes
0answers
116 views

Software for BMW algebra calculations?

Does software exist for computations in the BMW algebra? For example, I'd like to be able to express elements in a basis of "totally descending tangles" as in a paper of Morton–Wassermann. At ...
2
votes
0answers
35 views

Tait conjectures for alternating w-links

The Tait Conjectures are useful in knot tabulation. For alternating knots and links, two of them state: Any reduced diagram of an alternating link has the fewest possible crossings. Any two reduced ...
9
votes
2answers
477 views

The Alexander polynomial of a slice knot, Reidemeister tosion, Whitehead group

My question is about the Alexander polynomial of a slice knot. For a slice knot $K$, Fox-Millnor and Terasaka proved that $$ \Delta_{K}(t) \doteq f(t) f(t^{-1})$$ for some polynomial $f(t) \in ...
5
votes
1answer
94 views

Closed formula or program for computing Tristram-Levine signatures of torus knots?

I need to compute a series of Tristram-Levine signatures for a family of torus knots. I was wondering if this has already been done or whether there is a good way to streamline the computation. I am ...
7
votes
1answer
113 views

Relation between the Alexander module of a link and intermediate free abelian covers

I'm working through McMullen's paper "The Alexander polynomial of a 3-manifold and the Thurston norm on cohomology" and have a question concerning the following setup: Given a link complement $(X, ...
16
votes
9answers
7k views

Applications of knot theory

An answer of André Henriques' inspired the following closely related CW question. Parts of the following is extracted from his answer and my comments. I regularly teach a knot theory class. ...
1
vote
0answers
113 views

The relations between some 3-components links and trefoil knots [closed]

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, ...
3
votes
1answer
139 views

One question about the quandle

Given a finite quandle $Q$, for any knot $K$ one can associate an invariant, i.e. the number of proper colorings $p(K)$. Let us consider the inverse $K^{-1}$ and mirror image $K'$ of $K$. My queston ...
1
vote
2answers
195 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} ...
3
votes
2answers
122 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
112 views

Practical application of lattice knots

I am looking for examples of practical applications of lattice knots. Any help?
5
votes
1answer
149 views

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 $Y$ ...
9
votes
0answers
165 views

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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
561 views

monodromy defects and Chern-Simons

In the context of string theory I recently read "The formulation of Chern-Simons theory in terms of monodromy defects can be carried through all the dualities of the present paper, leading to ...
2
votes
1answer
613 views

isotopy doesn't make sense (Milnor)

hello, I am having a hard time following this isotopy put forth by Milnor in On the Total Curvature of Knots For each $c$ and $p$ in $\mathbb{R}^{n-1}$ such that $\|c-p\| > < r$, there is ...
6
votes
1answer
356 views

Examples of calculations of Turaev-Reshetikhin TQFT of cobordisms with boundaries have genera greater than 1

I am studying Turaev-Reshetikhin TQFT. I describe the definition of the invariant $\tau(M)$ of a cobordism $(M, \partial_{-}M, \partial_{+}M)$ in the previous question breifly. Framings in the ...
7
votes
2answers
515 views

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 ...
4
votes
4answers
490 views

Stick knot questions: simple but may not be easy

I have a few questions about nonplanar "stick circuits" (or hexagons and higher $n$-gons) that you might be able to help with: (I know that $n=6$ is the minimum number of points to form a stick ...
1
vote
0answers
106 views

Minimal piecewise-linear knot diagram [closed]

I'm looking for an answer to the following question: Given a knot in $\mathbb{R^{3}}$ can we find a piecewise-linear diagram of it wich is minimal (has a minimal number of verticies)?
3
votes
0answers
302 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?
1
vote
1answer
130 views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
465 views

Maslov index and heegard floer homology

I am an undergraduate who wants to learn Knot Floer homology. I was told to start with this expository paper which was working quite well until I reached the actual definition of the differential. ...
8
votes
0answers
139 views

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 $I^3$, ...
0
votes
0answers
83 views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
455 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
168 views

Seifert genus of the lift of a knot in its cyclic branched covers.

I was wondering if there are any known examples of knots $K$ in $S^3$ with Seifert genus $g$ so that the lift of $K$ sitting inside its $n$-fold cyclic branched cover bounds an embedded surface of ...
3
votes
2answers
164 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: ...
4
votes
0answers
82 views

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 ...
16
votes
3answers
425 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
788 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. ...
14
votes
2answers
242 views

Random rings linked into one component?

Let $S$ be a sphere of unit radius. Let $C_n$ be a collection of unit-radius circles/rings whose centers are (uniformly distributed) random points in $S$, and which are oriented (tilted) randomly ...
4
votes
2answers
166 views

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 ...
8
votes
3answers
318 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 ...