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6
votes
2answers
121 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 ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

How to motivate the skein relations?

I am teaching an advanced undergraduate class on topology. We are doing introductory knot theory at the moment. One of my students asked how do we know to use this skein relation to compute all these ...
7
votes
1answer
296 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
133 views

Skein Modules on closed 3-manifolds

Hi all! Why are skein modules 1-dimensional on closed 3-manifolds? The result seems clear on closed manifolds with vanishing first Betti number (e.g. $S^3$), but I don't see how to prove it for, say, ...
4
votes
1answer
222 views

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). ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Who thought that the Alexander polynomial was the only knot invariant of its kind?

I apologize that this is vague, but I'm trying to understand a little bit of the historical context in which the zoo of quantum invariants emerged. For some reason, I have in my head the folklore: ...
0
votes
1answer
231 views

“Skein” equations sets that can reduce any graph

Consider for example the approach to the Kuperberg G2 or the Yamada polynomial. I don't know whether relations of graph (in contrast to knot) theory are also usually called "skein" but I simply carry ...
5
votes
1answer
543 views

Trace identities and the Kauffman Bracket skein module

Let's consider $K_t(M)$, the Kauffman bracket skein module (see this and this papers) of a three-manifold $M$. When $t=-1$, $K_t(M)$ is easily seen to be isomorphic to the ring of functions on the ...
6
votes
2answers
557 views

3-manifold with torus boundary with trivial “peripheral ideal”?

Given a 3-manifold $M$, one can define the Kauffman bracket skein module $K_t(M)$ as the $C$-vector space with basis "links (including the empty link) in $M$ up to ambient isotopy," modulo the skein ...
4
votes
1answer
335 views

Cubic skein relations

Hi, please note that this question deals with undirected knots/links! The most generic cubic skein relation for a knot polynome would be where w^3 is one positive writhe unit. The form is fairly ...