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Philip Walker and Melvin Carter 31 April 2013

Introduction

Knots and links have had a multitude of applications over the years. This paper details the history of Knot Theory development, their applications in algebraic topology, the inuence of the Jones polynomial on the expansion of the study of knots and physics simultaneously, and the applications found in Special Relativity (specically Topological Quantum Field Theory).

The Beginnings

Alexander-Theophile Vandermonde rst developed a mathematical theory of knots in 1771 by noting the importance of topological features in relation to the properties in knots relative to their geometry of position. Vandermonde was a French mathematician who did work in determinant theory and also worked on symmetric functions and solutions of cyclotomic polynomials. Actual studies of knots would not begin until the 19th century when Carl Friedrich Gauss dened the linking integral. In 1833 Gauss developed the Gauss linking integral which is used for computing the linking number of two knots. The linking integral is dened is well dened. Given two non-intersecting dierentiable curves (γ1 , γ2 :

S1

R

3

), we dene the Gauss map

**G from the torus to the sphere by:
**

1

Γ(s,t) =

Pick a point in the unit sphere, plane perpendicular to goes to where

g1 (s) − g2 (t) |g1 (s) − g2 (t)|

w, so that orthogonal projection of the link to the

w

gives a link diagram. Observe that a point(s, t) that

w

under the Gauss map corresponds to a crossing in the link diagram over

γ 1 is

γ2

. Also, a neighborhood of

(s, t)

is mapped under the Gauss

map to a neighborhood of

w where the orientation is either preserved or reversed

depending on the orientation. Therefore counting the signed number of times the Gauss map covers

w

will compute the linking number of the corresponding

diagram. The resulting value will be the precise degree of the Gauss map due to the fact that

w

is a regular value. Any other regular value would give the same

number, so the linking number doesn't depend on any particular link diagram (Linking coecient). This formulation of the linking number of

γ1 and γ 2 enables

an explicit formula as a double line integral, the Gauss linking integral:

ˆ ˆ 1 r1 − r2 (dr1 dr2 ) 4p g1 g2 |r1 − r2 |

This integral computes the total signed area of the image of the Gauss map and then divides by

4p

which is the area of the sphere

[1 ].

Classifying Knots

In 1860 English physicist William Thompson was working on problems which related to the structure of matter. At the time there were two sides with differing opinions; one side supported Corpuscular theory and those who thought matter was a superposition of waves dispersed in space time. Corpuscular theory states that matter consists of atoms, where atoms are rigid and occupy a precise position in space. Both of these theories can explain certain phenomena

2

but are incomplete in that they cannot explain other phenomena. Thompson was able to nd a way to combine these theories; his theory stated that matter consists of atoms. The atoms, which he refers to as vortex atoms, are not point like objects but rather they are knots. This means that an atom is like a wave that bends back on itself. These knots can be quite complicated, and this would mean that molecules consist of knots which are interwoven. Interwoven knots are referred to as links by mathematicians

[2 ][3 ].

Thompson began classifying knots in order to develop his theory further. Once knots were classied it would be possible to classify atoms. One of Thompson's friends, Peter Guthrie Tait, was determined to solve this problem. Tait stated that since a knot was a closed curve in space it could be represented by a planar curve projected perpendicularly on the horizontal plane. These projections would have crossings which take place when two strands of the curve cross each other.

Figure 1:

In order for Tait to classify knots he had to rst determine which knots were in the same class and this meant he had to dene the equivalence of knots. To do this he formulated Tait's conjectures on alternating knots. In 1885 Tait published a table of classications for knots that were up to ten crossings, this was known as the Tait Conjectures. One of these conjectures is that in certain circumstances the crossing number was a knot invariant. Specically, the cross-

3

ing number of a reduced and alternating link is a knot invariant. This would not be proven until 1987 by Morwen Thistlethwaite, Louis Kauman, and K. Murasugi using the Jones polynomial

[4 ].

Another conjecture was that a re-

duced alternating link with zero writhe is not equivalent to its mirror image. The writhe number is the total number of positive crossings minus the total number of negative crossings on an oriented link. Tait believed that by making these tables of knots he was constructing a table of chemical elements dened through his theory.

Figure 2:

Knot Polynomials

James Waddell Alexander II was born on September 19, 1888. He is credited with the rst knot polynomial which is known as the Alexander Polynomial . It was introduced in 1923, while other knot polynomials were not found until over 50 years later. The Alexander Polynomial is a knot invariant that assigns a polynomial with integer coecients to the dierent knot types. In 1969 a

version of the Alexander polynomial which could be computed using a skein relationship was shown by John Conway. A skein relation gives a linear relation between the values of a knot polynomial on a collection of three links which dier from each other in a small region. This relation can be used to calculate the polynomial recursively. Alexander proved that the Alexander ideal is nonzero and always principal. Thus an Alexander polynomial always exists, and is clearly a knot invariant.

4

Rules for calculating Alexander Polynomial Rule 1: Rule 2:

1 1

(0) = 1, when 0 is any projection of the unknot (L+ )-

1

(L− )+(t 2

1

− t− 2 )

1

1

(L0 )=

0.

L+ , L− , L0

are three oriented link diagrams.

In 1984 Vaughan Jones discovered the Jones Polynomial. The Jones polynomial is an invariant of an oriented knot which assigns to each link a Laurent polynomial. A Laurent polynomial is a variable over a eld which is a linear combination of positive and negative powers of the variable with coecients. The Jones polynomial takes the value 1 on any diagram of the unknot and satises the skein relation . How to calculate Jones polynomial: Step 1: Calculate Bracket polynomial Rule 1:

< 0 >= 1,

where 0 is any projection of the unknot

Rule 2a: Rule 2b: Rule 3:<

< L+ >= A < Linf > +A−1 < L0 > < L− >= A < L0 > +A−1 < Linf > LU 0 >= (−A2 − A−2 ) < L >

Step 2: Use Bracket Polynomial to calculate X polynomial Where:

X<L>

=

(A3 )−w(L) < L >

−1 t 4

, w(L) is the writhe of L

Step 3: Replace each A with

in X polynomial

**The need for physical measures in S 4
**

There is a link between the particles and energies in the quantum eld to the topological tools used to describe properties of these elds using Topological Quantum Field Theory [TQFT]. Quantum concepts have two types of denitions the ambiguous and disambiguous use: ambiguous being the measure of properties and disambiguous being the measurements of the physical interaction

{x | x ∈ R}.

The Lorentz Equation and other measures of the disambiguous

5

are not addressed in this paper. For the ambiguous, Knot Theory, especially in the form of the Bracket Polynomial, is used to account for the all the potential topological variations quanta may take (Figure 4). The Jones polynomial does much to dene the topological properties quanta in a quantum eld. Yet, we recall that the real-time behaviors of quanta are not dictated by topology but by Special Relativity. The interchangeability of mass and energy is expressed in Einstein's famous equation Relativity assumes the speed of light is constant (

E = mc2 .

Special

E m

= c2 ).

Newton's model of

the physical world was no longer adequate. The four dimensions (4-manifold) of the Khovanov homology are adequate and sucient. For the properties of

the quantum elds, in the ambiguous interpretation, the intent is to lead the reader from the Jones polynomial to the Khovanov homology (1998). Observed quanta phenomenon has given us ideas of the nature of quantum elds:

Figure 3:

Figure 3 depicts the electrons of Hydrogen in the 3d orbital (preceded by 1s, 2s, 2p, 3s, 3p, and 4s orbitals). Note that Heisenberg's uncertainty principle is captured in the graphics as a probability density. The space between the density 'clouds' is the area of interest if we are to make use of the Jones polynomial and hence Khovanov's homology as properties of the Topological Quantum Field Theory [

TQFT].

Dr. A. Zee stated:

Quantum eld theory is needed when we confront simultaneously the two great physics innovations of the last century of the previ-

6

ous millennium: special relativity and quantum mechanics... It is in the peculiar conuence of special relativity and quantum mechanics that a new set of phenomena arises: Particles can be born and particles can die. It is this matter of birth, life, and death that requires the development of a new subject in physics, that of quantum eld theory. Let me give a heuristic discussion. In quantum mechan-

ics the uncertainty principle tells us that the energy can uctuate wildly over a small interval of time. According to special relativity, energy can be converted into mass and vice versa. With quantum mechanics and special relativity, the wildly uctuating energy can metamorphose into mass, that is, into new particles not previously present. [6 ].

Figure 3 does not depict an electron but the statistically probable location of electrons. The same depiction on the right veries the Heisenberg uncertainty principle by showing the possible locations as a probability function.

**Further developments in the dening of knot properties
**

The topological denitions of the Jones polynomial are for the valuation of knots in

S3.

There are limitations inherent in the use of the Jones polynomial

though: rst that it does not detect the unknot and second it is limited to the

S3

or specically the 2-D view of the x, y, and z dimensions. This meant that

determining all outcomes of a quantum eld is not possible with only the Jones polynomial. (4 Perception and detection was needed for the full quantum eld or

− manif old

S 4 ).

Mikhail Khovanov introduced a method to evaluate

S4

. The ability to analyze Statistical Mechanics, Quantum Group, and knots and

7

links in

S3,

using the Jones polynomial (J. Birman, 1990), were enhanced by

the Khovanov Homology. This development has the means to provide denition to all the topological elds generated by quanta.

TQFT is the analysis of

quantum spacetime in the 4-manifold or four dimensions. In this case we choose the Khovanov Homology. To detect the unknot we need an accessible invariant that will distinguish L from an unknot. Recall that when

L ⊂ S3

(Jones polynomial) we fail to detect

the unknot or distinguish it from other knots. The Jones polynomial uses the bracket polynomial

< 0 >= 1 as an identity function.

The unknot, then, has no

value per se but preserves the value of the sum operation of the given link. An unlink or unknot is the identity element with respect to the knot sum operation.

Figure 4:

In order to detect the unlink or unknot the Floer homology (Heegaard Floer) is used by Khovanov. The Khovanov homology makes use of the Knot Floer

homology (Osvath, Szabo, and Rasmussen). It is a generalization of the Jones polynomial but is crucial in its ability to detect the unknot. The Knot Floer homology is in the framework

L ⊂ S3

and, using the notation

HF K (L) [

**Floer Knot], is a generator of an abelian group that is bi-graded.
**

module is a module of links

Heegaard

m and a

where

A bi-graded

Lm,a

that is indexed by the pair of integers

(with each module over a xed abelian group). In this case

HF K (L)=⊕

m, a ∈

in

|L|−1 2

+Z

or

HF K m (L, a)

and where

|L|

is the number of components

L (m

is the Maslov grading and

a

is the Alexander grading)[7 ]. Dr. Yi Ni

dened the Khovanov homology as a bi-grade of

L ⊂ S 3 → Khi,j (L)

such that

8

(−1) q j ,

i,j

i

or rank of the

Khi,j (L) = q + q −1 VL (q ). j

is quantum grading

This is true where

i

is

the homological grading and

[8 ].

Dr. Yi Ni states that

though the bi-grading work for

Kh,

...[captures] the geometric and topological This would mean that the full expression Given that the bi-grading is by the

meaning of the bi-gradings.... in of the Khovanov module is for

Kh.

TQFT.

Maslov and Alexander grading there is a simultaneous association with physics and knots. The Khovanov Homology was dened by Hedden and Ni as a module that make use of the Floer homology,

Kh (L; F )

F,

to detect the unlink over the ring

2 F [X0 , ..., Xn−1 ] \ X2 0 , ..., Xn−1

. Hedden and Ni's theorem2declaresthattheunlinkisfoundwhen Dr. Dror Bar-Natan extends the

2 Kh (L; F ) ∼ = F [X0 , ..., Xn−1 ] \ X2 0 , ..., Xn−1 [7 ].

usefulness of the Khovanov homology to all four dimensions by adding the Wilson operator W and the height shift [s] to dene the full spectrum of options available in a 4-manifold or

S4:

Khovanov's categorication idea is to replace polynomials by graded vector

spaces2

of the appropriate graded dimension", so as to turn

the Jones polynomial into a homological object. With the diagram [see gure 3] as the starting point the process is straight forward and essentially unique. Let us start with a brief on some necessary generalities: Denition 3.1 Let (where

W = ⊕m W m

be a graded vector space

⊕m

is the vector by Maslov's grading) with homogeneous

components{W m}[the Wilson operator with respect to the Maslov portion of the bi-grading]. The graded dimension of series

W

is the power op-

m

q m dimW , Denition 3.2 Let · {l} be the degree shift

eration on graded vector spaces. That is, if vector space, we set

W = ⊕m W m is a graded

**W {l}m := Wm−l , so that W {l}m = q 1 q dimW , [s]
**

be the height shift operation on

Denition 3.3 Likewise, let

9

chain complexes. That is, if ...

C

is a chain complex ...

C r dr C r+1

→

of (possibly graded) vector spaces (we call

r

the height of a

piece

Cr

of that complex), and if

C = C [s],

then

Cr

=

C r−s

be the

(with all dierentials shifted accordingly).

Likewise, let

[s]

height shift" operation on chain complexes. That is, if complex:::!

C

is a chain

C →! C

r dr

r +1

:::of

r

(possibly graded) vector spaces (we call of that complex), and if

r C

the

”height” of a piece C C

r

r

=

=s

¯ C

=

¯ C

[s], then The the

(with all dierentials shifted accordingly).

[9 ].

4-manifold is dened by the Wilson operator shift, and

(m, a) [s]

bi-grading of

HF K m (L, a),

be the height shift (see gure 7).

Edward Witten claries the Wilson operator's use in Special Relativity and links it to the Jones Polynomial, the quantum formula for the Jones polynomial is just

JK =< W K > [10 ].

The depiction of this shift is given by comparing a normal depiction (gure 5) of the bracket polynomial for the trefoil and the shifts of the Wilson operator and has been made of

[s]

in gure 6 and gure 7. An example on both gures.

bracket 100

Figure 5:

10

Figure 6:

Figure 7:

Conclusion

Topological Quantum Field Theory sees its maximum fruition in the form of bordisms. Once we have the 4-manifold we examine topological generators within

S4.

The value of the Khovanov homology is in dening knots and links in

terms of vector spaces. The summation of all these spaces is a bordism. For instance, if a function then

M

is onto

N

it forms a bordism. If

M

is also onto

N

M →N →M

and forms the bordism:

Figure 8:

At last there is a full representation of the value of the 4-manifold vector space given by Mikhail Khovanov's homology.

Bibliography

[1] Linking coecient. A.V. Chernavskii (originator), Encyclopedia of Mathe-

11

matics. <http://www.encyclopediaofmath.org/index.php?title=Linking_coecient&oldid=11630>. [2] Alexander, J.W.. "Topological Invariants of Knots and Links." . American Mathematical Society, n.d. Web. 05 Apr 2013. <http://homepages.math.uic.edu/~kauman/Alex.pdf>. [3] Kauman, Louis. "Knot Theory and Physics." American Mathematical Society. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr 2013. <http://www.ams.org/meetings/lectures/kaumanlect.pdf>. [4] Litijens, Bart. "Knot theory and the Alexander polynomial." . N.p., 16 Aug 2011. Web. 15 Apr 2013. <http://www.science.uva.nl/onderwijs/thesis/centraal/les/f1530802911.pdf>. [5] Sossinsky, Alexei. "Knots Mathematics With A Twist." . Harvard Uni-

versity Press, n.d. Web. 10 Apr 2013. <http://www.cs.unicam.it/piergallini/home/materiale/geom4/testi/Soss Mathematics with a twist.pdf>. [6] Zee, A. Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell . 2010. 2nd ed.. Pg. 3.

Princeton, NJ. Princeton University Press. < http://gr.xjtu.edu.cn/c/document_library/get_le?p_l_id=216 2506.pdf>. [7] Ni, Yi & Hedden, Matthew. Khovanov module and the detection of unlinks . 8 Oct. 2012. (submitted) pre-published by arVix.org. < http://arxiv.org/pdf/1204.0960.pdf> [8] Ni, Yi. Khovanov module and the detection of unlinks . 2012. Lecture presentation during a mathematics consortium at Georgia Tech (Video). Minute 27:02 to 28:08. < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTA6ZUVIev0>. [9] Bar-Natan, Dror. On Khovanov's categorication of the Jones polyno-

mial . 21 May 2002. Algebraic & Geometric Topology, Volume 2 (2002) 337-370. ISSN 1472-2739 (on-line) 1472-2747 (printed). [10] Witten, Edward. Knots and Quantum Theory . Spring 2011. The

Institute Letter (`Spring Letter'). Institute for Advanced Study. [11] Lurie, Jacob. Topological Quantum Field Theory and the Cobordism Hypothesis Parts 1-4 . March 21, 2012. Lecture presentation (Video). Minute 2:41 to 6:35. < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bo8GNfN-Xn4>.

12

Knot Theory in used to describe potential interactions as particles move from one spacetime to another.

Knot Theory in used to describe potential interactions as particles move from one spacetime to another.

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