For questions on knot theory, the study of mathematical knots

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3
votes
1answer
322 views

Knot with genus $1$ and trivial Alexander polynomial?

I would like to know whether there exists a knot $K$ with genus $g(K)=1$ and trivial Alexander polynomial $\Delta(K) \doteq 1$. A linked question could be: does there exist a Whitehead double with ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

the knot surgery - from a $6^3_2$ knot to a $3_1$ trefoil knot

It is intuitive that one can simply doing a cut-gluing surgery to make a $6^3_2$ to a $3_1$ trefoil knot: e.g. from to All one needs to do it to cut the three intersections at the angle of ...
4
votes
1answer
186 views

Assigning alternate crossings to closed curves

This is a minor curiosity that I've been wondering about. Suppose that we draw a closed curve in the plane and that this curve intersects itself several times, but never twice in one spot. We can knot ...
23
votes
3answers
539 views

Picture of a 4D knot

A knot is a way to put a circle into 3-space $S^1 \to \mathbb R^3$ and these are often visualized as 2D knot diagrams. Can anyone show me a diagram of a nontrivial knotted sphere $S^2 \to \mathbb ...
8
votes
1answer
664 views

Braid groups and the fundamental group of the configuration space of $n$ points

I am giving a lecture on Braid Groups this month at a seminar and I am confused about how to understand the fundamental group of the configuration space of $n$ points, so I will define some ...
7
votes
3answers
631 views

An introduction to Khovanov homology, Heegaard-Floer homology

I am interested in knot theory and low dimensional topology. I would like to start studying Khovanov homology and Heegaard-Floer homology. I (partially) read the original paper of Khovanov and then ...
9
votes
3answers
407 views

How to start learning knot theory?

Knot theory really sounds cool and I'm very interested in it. But I'm wondering what basic knowledge it is required and how I should start learning about it. Thanks
8
votes
2answers
544 views

Seifert matrices — Figure 8 knot

I've just learnt about Seifert matrices and thought it might be a good idea to compute some. Can you tell me if this is right: Here $x_1^+$ denotes the push off of $x_1$. I have omitted the diagram ...
7
votes
2answers
349 views

Seifert matrices and Arf invariant — Cinquefoil knot

I have computed the following Seifert matrix for the Cinquefoil knot: $$ S = \begin{pmatrix} 1 & -1 & -1 & -1 \\ 0 & 1 & 0 & 0 \\  0 & 1 & 1 & 0 \\ 0 ...
4
votes
1answer
205 views

Alexander–Briggs notations for the links or knots of $N^3_m$

We can use Alexander–Briggs notations for the links or knots. For example, is three separate loops with no links. And there are many other examples of Alexander–Briggs notations for three ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

The math notation of this links? (connect sum of Hopf links)

We know the Hopf link owns the name of $2^2_1$ for Alexander–Briggs notations. (And there is another two component links is $4^2_1$.) I learned that "$4^3_1$ is not usually written as any three ...
2
votes
0answers
89 views

Surgery to unlink $S^1$ and $S^2$ in $S^4$ [closed]

Let us start with a $S^1$ and a $S^2$ are linked in $S^4$. Can I unlink the $S^1$ and $S^2$ by doing some surgery (with certain constraints described below, and let us say both $S^1$ and $S^2$ ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

Why is the Hopf link the only link with knot group $\mathbb{Z} \oplus \mathbb{Z}$?

We can use the Loop Theorem to show that if $\Sigma$ is a minimal-genus Seifert surface for a link $L$, then $\pi_1(\Sigma)$ injects into the knot group $\pi_1(S^3 \setminus L)$. An orientable ...
2
votes
1answer
113 views

Are there Kirby diagrams for manifolds with boundaries?

There are Kirby diagrams for 3- and 4-manifolds which consist of framed links corresponding to 1- and 2-handles attached to a single 0-handle. Any such diagram will give a unique closed manifold since ...
2
votes
1answer
261 views

Equivalence of knots

It's intuitively clear what it means that two knots $K,K'$ are essentially the same, but it can be termed and defined more precisely in different ways. Are all of them equivalent? $K, K'$ are ...
1
vote
3answers
177 views

The Abelianization of $\langle x, a \mid a^2x=xa\rangle$

I wish to verify the following statement (which comes from Fox, "A Quick Trip Through Knot Theory", although that is probably not important). "$\Gamma=\pi_1 (M)=\langle x, a \mid a^2x=xa\rangle$ so ...
1
vote
1answer
178 views

How is PL knot theory related to smooth knot theory?

I really want to like knot theory but the PL condition seems sort of ugly. I was hoping someone could give me a justification for secretly thinking about smooth knots as I read through a book like ...
6
votes
1answer
76 views

knot theory: two definitions of equivalence (ambient isotopy and homeomorphism)

I am looking into knot theory and have found two different definitions stating that two knots $K_1$ and $K_2$ are equivalent, namely the concept of an ambient isotopy: These two knots are ambient ...
4
votes
0answers
77 views

Has knot theory led to the development of better knots?

Knot theory was likely originally motivated by the study of real-world knots such as these: Indeed, mathematical knot tables to this day look not too dissimilar from the familiar "age of ...
4
votes
2answers
189 views

What is smoothness needed for?

We can either define a knot to be (1) a smooth embedding $S^1 \hookrightarrow \mathbb R^3$ or (2) a piecewise linear, simple closed curve in $\mathbb R^3$ Then these two definitions are ...
4
votes
1answer
508 views

Framed manifolds and framed knots

I've been looking at intersection forms and the Arf invariant recently and I got a comment to one of my previous questions related to this. So I looked at framed manifolds. There seems to be quite a ...
2
votes
2answers
70 views

Prove that an infinitely long rope can only form slipknots

I've heard that an infinitely long rope can only form slipknots, is that true, and is there a simple proof/obvious counterexample? Answers requiring no preliminary knowledge about topology would be ...
2
votes
0answers
53 views

Piecewise linear knots and smooth knots

Is the set of all piecewise linear (PL) knots is a good approximation of the set of all 1D smooth knots embedded in $\mathbb{R}^3$? Once I saw a theorem related to that but not able to find it now. ...
2
votes
1answer
186 views

Why is the Whitehead double of a knot always prime?

I was looking for a proof that there are infinitely many prime knots and one said "take your favorite (prime) knot and consider all its Whitehead double", implying that all Whitehead doubles of a ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

Chessboard coloring of a knot

To construct a surface which boundary is a knot we can use the Seifert-algorithm. But we can also make a chessboard coloring of the knotdiagram $D$ of the knot $K$. So we get also an surface with ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

In topological terms, how would you describe the relationship between two consecutive links of a chain?

Consider the two rings that this magician is holding in his hands: How would you describe that configuration in topological terms? From a knot-theory standpoint, I would say that the rings form a ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Braid invariants resource

What are some braid invariants (analogous to the idea of knot invariants) or a resource where I can find them?