A selection of topics which graduate students have found to be a successful introduction to the field, employing three distinct techniques: geometric topology manoeuvres, combinatorics, and algebraic topology. Each topic is developed until significant results are achieved and each chapter ends with exercises and brief accounts of the latest research. What may reasonably be referred to as knot theory has expanded enormously over the last decade and, while the author describes important discoveries throughout the twentieth century, the latest discoveries such as quantum invariants of 3-manifolds as well as generalisations and applications of the Jones polynomial are also included, presented in an easily intelligible style. Readers are assumed to have knowledge of the basic ideas of the fundamental group and simple homology theory, although explanations throughout the text are numerous and well-done. Written by an internationally known expert in the field, this will appeal to graduate students, mathematicians and physicists with a mathematical background wishing to gain new insights in this area.
Knot theory is a kind of geometry, and one whose appeal is very direct because the objects studied are perceivable and tangible in everyday physical space. It is a meeting ground of such diverse branches of mathematics as group theory, matrix theory, number theory, algebraic geometry, and differential geometry, to name some of the more prominent ones. It had its origins in the mathematical theory of electricity and in primitive atomic physics, and there are hints today of new applications in certain branches of chemistryJ The outlines of the modern topological theory were worked out by Dehn, Alexander, Reidemeister, and Seifert almost thirty years ago. As a subfield of topology, knot theory forms the core of a wide range of problems dealing with the position of one manifold imbedded within another. This book, which is an elaboration of a series of lectures given by Fox at Haverford College while a Philips Visitor there in the spring of 1956, is an attempt to make the subject accessible to everyone. Primarily it is a text book for a course at the junior-senior level, but we believe that it can be used with profit also by graduate students. Because the algebra required is not the familiar commutative algebra, a disproportionate amount of the book is given over to necessary algebraic preliminaries.
With hundreds of worked examples, exercises and illustrations, this detailed exposition of the theory of Vassiliev knot invariants opens the field to students with little or no knowledge in this area. It also serves as a guide to more advanced material. The book begins with a basic and informal introduction to knot theory, giving many examples of knot invariants before the class of Vassiliev invariants is introduced. This is followed by a detailed study of the algebras of Jacobi diagrams and 3-graphs, and the construction of functions on these algebras via Lie algebras. The authors then describe two constructions of a universal invariant with values in the algebra of Jacobi diagrams: via iterated integrals and via the Drinfeld associator, and extend the theory to framed knots. Various other topics are then discussed, such as Gauss diagram formulae, before the book ends with Vassiliev's original construction.
Knot theory is a rapidly developing field of research with many applications, not only for mathematics. The present volume, written by a well-known specialist, gives a complete survey of this theory from its very beginnings to today's most recent research results. An indispensable book for everyone concerned with knot theory.
This textbook is intended for a course in algebraic topology at the beginning graduate level. The main topics covered are the classification of compact 2-manifolds, the fundamental group, covering spaces, singular homology theory, and singular cohomology theory. These topics are developed systematically, avoiding all unnecessary definitions, terminology, and technical machinery. The text consists of material from the first five chapters of the author's earlier book, Algebraic Topology; an Introduction (GTM 56) together with almost all of his book, Singular Homology Theory (GTM 70). The material from the two earlier books has been substantially revised, corrected, and brought up to date.
Bringing together many results previously scattered throughout the research literature into a single framework, this work concentrates on the application of the author's algebraic theory of surgery to provide a unified treatment of the invariants of codimension 2 embeddings, generalizing the Alexander polynomials and Seifert forms of classical knot theory.
This book introduces the study of knots, providing insights into recent applications in DNA research and graph theory. It sets forth fundamental facts such as knot diagrams, braid representations, Seifert surfaces, tangles, and Alexander polynomials. It also covers more recent developments and special topics, such as chord diagrams and covering spaces. The author avoids advanced mathematical terminology and intricate techniques in algebraic topology and group theory. Numerous diagrams and exercises help readers understand and apply the theory. Each chapter includes a supplement with interesting historical and mathematical comments.
To the Teacher. This book is designed to introduce a student to some of the important ideas of algebraic topology by emphasizing the re lations of these ideas with other areas of mathematics. Rather than choosing one point of view of modem topology (homotopy theory, simplicial complexes, singular theory, axiomatic homology, differ ential topology, etc.), we concentrate our attention on concrete prob lems in low dimensions, introducing only as much algebraic machin ery as necessary for the problems we meet. This makes it possible to see a wider variety of important features of the subject than is usual in a beginning text. The book is designed for students of mathematics or science who are not aiming to become practicing algebraic topol ogists-without, we hope, discouraging budding topologists. We also feel that this approach is in better harmony with the historical devel opment of the subject. What would we like a student to know after a first course in to pology (assuming we reject the answer: half of what one would like the student to know after a second course in topology)? Our answers to this have guided the choice of material, which includes: under standing the relation between homology and integration, first on plane domains, later on Riemann surfaces and in higher dimensions; wind ing numbers and degrees of mappings, fixed-point theorems; appli cations such as the Jordan curve theorem, invariance of domain; in dices of vector fields and Euler characteristics; fundamental groups