Department of Computer Science | Institute of Theoretical Computer Science | CADMO

Theory of Combinatorial Algorithms

Prof. Emo Welzl and Prof. Bernd Gärtner

Mittagsseminar (in cooperation with A. Steger, D. Steurer and B. Sudakov)

Mittagsseminar Talk Information

Date and Time: Tuesday, November 29, 2011, 12:15 pm

Duration: 30 minutes

Location: OAT S15/S16/S17

Speaker: Tobias Christ

Rational Tangles

An excursion into the beautiful land of knot theory, following the paper "Rational Tangles" by J.R. Goldman and L.H. Kauffman, 1997. Rational tangles can be used as building blocks of knots and were invented by John H. Conway in order to help classify knots. Opposed to knots or general tangles, which are not completely understood yet, rational tangles can be mapped to continued fractions to "untangle" them in some sense. We are going to see a sketch of the proof of Conway's main theorem about rational tangles using many pictures, few words, and no topology: Two rational tangles are equivalent if and only if their continued fraction evaluates to the same rational number.

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