12
votes
1answer
313 views

Why are Witten-Reshetikhin-Turaev invariants expected to be integral?

A Witten-Reshetikhin-Turaev (WRT) Invariant $\tau_{M,L}^G(\xi)\in\mathbb{C}$ is an invariant of closed oriented 3-manifold $M$ containing a framed link $L$, where $G$ is a simple Lie group, and $\xi$ ...
6
votes
2answers
116 views

On trivalent spines of surfaces

Let $\Sigma$ be a surface with non-empty boundary labelled by finitely many points $x_i$. For our purposes a spine $s$ for $\Sigma$ is a uni-trivalent graph embedded in $\Sigma$ whose 1-vertices are ...
9
votes
0answers
239 views

Provide a citation for the “spine lemma”?

I'm looking for a citable reference for the following (perhaps folkloric?) result on topological field theories. (There are obviously generalizations to other dimensions; I'm happy with just the ...
3
votes
0answers
123 views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
394 views

Diagrammatic proof of unique prime decomposition of knots

Consider a knot to be a diagram in a plane--- i.e. a drawing of a finite connected planar graph (loops and multiple edges allowed) whose vertices are 4-valent with cyclic ordering for the incident ...
8
votes
3answers
340 views

Is a knotted trivalent graph determined by its set of unzips?

A knotted trivalent graph (KTG) is a framed embedding of a trivalent graph in $\mathbb{R}^3$, modulo ambient isotopy. I believe they were first considered (in the quantum topological context, at ...
7
votes
1answer
288 views

Reference request: the “Kauffman bracket skein category”?

There should be a category $3\text{CobTang}$ whose objects are some kind of surfaces with a finite set of marked points morphisms $M : S \to T$ are some kind of $3$-dimensional cobordisms ...
5
votes
1answer
281 views

Computations and applications of Khovanov's functor valued invariant of tangles

Soon after his famous paper "A categorification of the Jones polynomial", Khovanov introduced a "bordered" version. His theory assingns to every oriented even tangle a complex of (H_n,H_m)-bimodules, ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How to find Colin Day's PhD Thesis

A week or so ago, I was saddened to read Jim Stasheff's post on the AlgTop mailing list, announcing the passing of Colin Day, after a long bout with cancer. I was thinking of reading Colin Day's PhD ...
8
votes
2answers
633 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 ...
22
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is the volume conjecture important?

The volume conjecture, a formula relating hyperbolic volume of a knot complement with the semiclassical limit of a family of coloured Jones polynomials, is widely considered the biggest open problem ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

How are the Conway polynomial and the Alexander polynomial different?

Background story: I have just come out from a talk by Misha Polyak on generalizations of an arrow-diagram formula for coefficients of the Conway polynomial by Chmutov, Khoury, and Rossi. In it, he ...
7
votes
1answer
653 views

Casson's invariant and the trivial connection contribution to witten's 3-manifold invariant

This question might turn out not to make any sense, but here it is: Witten's (and Reshetikhin and Turaev's) 3-manifold invariant can be "defined" as an integral over the space of connections on the ...