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Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Rational Tangles
Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend

July 17, 2008

Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Whats a rational tangle?

Tangles
Denition A tangle is analogous to a link except that it has free ends which are restricted to the boundary of a ball or box.

Figure: A tangle and a non-tangle.

Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Whats a rational tangle?

Rational tangles
Denition A rational tangle is a tangle made of two arcs that can be unwound completely while keeping the endpoints of the arcs on the boundary of the ball.

Figure: Various tangles, mostly rational.

Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Whats a rational tangle?

Construction of rational tangles


To make a rational tangle, take two arcs in a ball, choose any pair of endpoints and twist them, then repeat this a nite number of times with any pairs of endpoints.

Figure: Construction of a rational tangle.

Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Whats a rational tangle?

Canonical Form
Denition A rational tangle is said to be in canonical form provided that the tangle is alternating.

Figure: A tangle in canonical form and a tangle decidedly not in canonical form.
Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Monomial Operations

Mirror Image

Figure: Mirror image of a rational tangle, denoted 1/a.

Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Monomial Operations

Flips and Flypes

Figure: A horizontal ip.

Figure: A ype.
Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Monomial Operations

Inverses : clockwise and counter-clockwise

Figure: Counter-clockwise inverse.

Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Monomial Operations

Numerator Closure and Denominator Closure


Denition The numerator closure of a tangle is the knot/link made by connecting the North endpoints to each other and the South endpoints to each other. Similarly, the denominator closure is made by connecting the East endpoints and the West endpoints.

Figure: Numerator closure and denominator closure.


Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Binomial Operations

Addition

Figure: Tangle sum.

Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Binomial Operations

Tangle Product
The tangle product ab = a + b.

Figure: Tangle product.

Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Binomial Operations

Ramication
The ramication a, b = a + b.

Figure: Tangle ramication.

Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Denition

Equivalence of Rational Tangles

Denition Two tangles are equivalent if they can be deformed to each other without moving the endpoints. Allowed deformation moves are analogous to Reidemeister moves.

Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Applications

Nifty Equivalence Properties (I)

Figure: Two tangles with the same canonical form.

Two tangles are equivalent i they can be deformed to the same canonical form.

Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Applications

Nifty Equivalence Properties (II)


Any rational tangle is equivalent to an alternating tangle.

Figure: A rational tangle with an extra pink kink and its equivalent alternating tangle.

Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Calculation

Vector Notation for Tangles


A tangle can be represented in vector form (a1 , a2 , . . . , an ) where ai is the number of consecutive twists of a pair of endpoints.

Figure: Rational tangles and evolution of their associated vectors.

Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Calculation

Continued Fractions of Tangles

The continued fraction of a basic tangle (denoted F (t)) corresponds to this set (a0 , a1 , ..., an ) of twists as

F (t) =

1 an +
1 an1 +
1 1 an2 + ...

Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Calculation

An Example

Figure: A rational tangle and its associated fraction.

Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Properties

Properties of Continued Fractions of Tangles

The continued fraction of a rational tangle T is related to its inverse and mirror image as follows F(1/T)=1/F(T) F(-T)=-F(T) Flypes do not aect a tangles continued fraction. The continued fraction is a rational tangle invariant.

Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Conways Theorem

Conways1 Theorem

Theorem If T1 and T2 are basic tangles, then F (T1 ) = F (T2 ) implies that T1 is ambient isotopic to T2 .

Squaredancer Extraordinaire

Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Calculation

The Bracket Polynomial for Rational Tangles


Weve already dened a bracket polynomial for links and knots. The bracket polynomial for tangles is similar . . .

J =A

+ A1 ||

. . . but we end up with a Laurent polynomial with unresolved terms || and = .

Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Calculation

The Bracket Polynomial for Rational Tangles


So starting with J =A + A1 ||

we dene (T ) and (T ) for some tangle T by T = (T ) || + (T ) = . So for J, we have (J) = A1 and (J) = A.
Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Properties

A Bracket Polynomial , Theorem!

Theorem RT (A) = is an invariant of tangles. (T ) (T )

Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Magic

In Which Everything is Illuminated!

Now take RT (A) and replace A, for magical reasons, with

i.

Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Magic

In Which Everything is Illuminated!

Now take RT (A) and replace A, for magical reasons, with Theorem (Goldman and Kauman) F (T ) = iRT ( i). Remember, RT (A) =
(T ) (T ) .

i.

Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

DNA as a Rational Tangle

Purely Applicable: tangled DNA

Figure: DNA is really a series of a zillion tangles, many of which are rational!
Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles

Introduction

Operations

Equivalence

Continued Fractions

The Bracket Polynomial

Applications

Sources

Sources

C. Cerf, A Note on the Tangle Model for DNA Recombination, Bulletin of Mathematical Biology (1998), pp 67-78. I.K. Darcy, A rational tangle primer, Available: http://www.knotplot.com . J.R. Goldman, L.H. Kauman, Rational tangles, Adv. in Appl. Math. 18 (1997), no. 3, 300-332. L.H. Kauman and S. Lambropoulou. Knotting, Linking, and Folding Geometric Objects in R3 . AMS Special Session on Knotting and Unknotting. Las Vegas, Nevada. 21 Apr. (2001), pp 223-260. J.C. Misra and S. Mukherjee, Mathematical Modelling of DNA Knots and Links. Biomathematics: modelling and simulation. World Scientic (2006), pp 195-224. Wikipedia. Y. Saka, M. Vazquez, TangleSolve: topological analysis of site-specic recombination, Bioinformatics, Available: http://bio.math.berkeley.edu/TangleSolve/tmodel/tmodel.html , (2002) 18:1011-1012

Erica Shannon and Jennifer Townsend Rational Tangles