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Mathematics LibreTexts

Open Algebra and Knots (Salomone)

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  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    Everyone knows how to tie knots. But not everyone knows how to tie knots to mathematics. The theory of knots has been well studied since the early 20th century, and has many connections to geometry and topology, and applications to physics, biology, and beyond. We’ll investigate perhaps its most fundamental connection: to algebra. In what ways are knots algebraic objects? How can we use algebraic structures and reasoning to classify knots? And how can this help us (and our own students) to think algebraically beyond the classroom?

    Thumbnail: A knot diagram of the trefoil knot, the simplest non-trivial knot. (Public Domain; MichaelFrey via Wikipedia)

    This page titled Open Algebra and Knots (Salomone) is shared under a GNU Free Documentation License 1.3 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Matthew Salomone via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.