Mathematics Colloquia and Seminars

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A second order linking invariant


Speaker: Charles Livingston, Indiana University and UC Berkeley
Location: 693 Kerr
Start time: Wed, Nov 28 2001, 4:10PM

The simplest invariant of knot theory is the linking number; given two knotted circles, it gives an easily computed numerical measure of how linked together the knots are. Telling two links apart when they have the same linking number is more subtle. In this talk I will describe another easily computed invariant that can be applied to distinguish links with the same linking number. This invariant has applications to problems concerning the symmetries of links and also is related to knot polynomials and the theory of finite type knot invariants.