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In topology, knot theory is the study of mathematical knots. While inspired by knots which appear in daily life in shoelaces and rope, a mathematician's knot differs in that the ends are joined together so that it cannot be undone. In precise mathematical language, a knot is an embedding of a circle in 3-dimensional Euclidean space, ${\Bbb R}^3$. Two mathematical knots are equivalent if one can be transformed into the other via a deformation of ${\Bbb R}^3$ upon itself (known as an ambient isotopy); these transformations correspond to manipulations of a knotted string that do not involve cutting the string or passing the string through itself.

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