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Mathematical Impressions: Can You Turn a Rubber Band into a Knot? [Video]

Theory suggests it is impossible, but geometer George Hart shows that the band's thickness can help you solve this puzzle
knot, rubber band knot, knot theory



Simons Science News

From Simons Science News (find original story here).

The mathematics of knot theory says that a simple loop and a trefoil are fundamentally different knots. But is that all there is to the question? How can you take a rubber band and turn it into a knot?

Knot theory is the study of knots and their diagrams. It includes techniques for characterizing how knots can be transformed in three-dimensional space and tests for determining when two different-looking knots are actually equivalent. A good introduction is “The Knot Book” by Colin Adams, which explains in detail the “Jones polynomial” mentioned in the video.

 

More videos from the Mathematical Impressions series.

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