Tagged Questions

Finite-type (Vassiliev) invariants, quantum invariants, and perturbative invariants of knotted objects and of manifolds.

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Representations of quantum groups at roots of unity

I'm interested in the semisimplified category of representations of a quantum group at a root of unity. I've heard that simple objects in this category correspond to certain "integral" conjugacy ...
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Why do people study representations of 3-manifold groups into $SL(n,\mathbb{C})$?

Varieties of representations and characters of $3$-manifold groups in $SL(2,\mathbb{C})$ have been intensively studied. They have provided tools to identify geometric structures on manifolds, and are ...
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I have seen that usually one finds polynomial invariants for oriented links (for example the Jones polynomial, the Hompfly polynomial). Does anyone know what polynomial invariants exist for non-...
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Why hasn't anyone proved that the two standard approaches to quantizing Chern-Simons theory are equivalent?

The two standard approaches to the quantization of Chern-Simons theory are geometric quantization of character varieties, and quantum groups plus skein theory. These two approaches were both first ...
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S-matrix for the HOMFLY/Hecke category

This question concerns the HOMFLY-PT category, closely related to Hecke algebras. (See here for example.) The minimal idempotents of this category are indexed by pairs $(\lambda_+, \lambda_-)$ of ...
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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 ...
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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 least)...
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S-matrix for the BMW category

This question concerns the Birman-Murakami-Wenzl category, or equivalently the tangle category associated to the 2-variable Kauffman polynomial. (See here for example.) The minimal idempotents of ...
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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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Integer matrices with a strange divisibility property

Fix an integer $n$. What can you say about a (not necessarily square) matrix $A$ with integer entries that has the property that for any $k$, every $k\times k$ minor of $A$ is divisible by $n^{k-1}$? ...
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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 ...
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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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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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Quantum mathematics?

"Quantum" as a term/prefix used to be genuinely physical: what was supposed to be physically continuous turned out to be physically quantized. What sense does this distinction make inside ...
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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 ...
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Why Lagrangian cobordism?

There are a good number of quantum topology papers in which a TQFT-like set-up is constructed as a functor to the category of vector spaces from some category of cobordisms which satisfy some "...
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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 ...