Kasturi Barkataki, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Authors: Kasturi Barkataki, Eleni Panagiotou
2022 AWM Research Symposium
Poster Presentation

Measuring the entanglement complexity of collections of open curves in 3-space has been an intractable, yet pressing mathematical problem, relevant to a plethora of physical systems, such as in polymers and biopolymers. In this manuscript, we give a novel definition of the Jones polynomial that generalizes the classic Jones polynomial to collections of open curves in 3-space. More precisely, first we provide a novel definition of the Jones polynomial of linkoids (open link diagrams) and show that this is a well-defined single variable polynomial that is a topological invariant, which, for link-type linkoids, it coincides with that of the corresponding link. Using the framework introduced by Panagiotou and Kauffman (Proc. R. Soc. A, 476:20200124, 2020), this enables us to define the Jones polynomial of collections of open and closed curves in 3-space. For collections of open curves in 3- space, the Jones polynomial has real coefficients and it is a continuous function of the curves’ coordinates. As the endpoints of the curves tend to coincide, the Jones polynomial tends to that of the resultant link. We demonstrate with numerical examples that the novel Jones polynomial enables us to characterize the topological/geometrical complexity of collections of open curves in 3-space for the first time.

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