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Knots: Mathematics With A Twist.

ALEXEI SOSSINSKY

Knots are trendy, declares Sossinsky, a Russian mathematician. Long ignored as an important but uninteresting branch of topology, knot theory is now used in descriptions of weather systems, mathematical models used in physics, and even the study of DNA. The author describes knot theory by chronicling its history. Beginning with Lord Kelvin's ill-conceived idea of using knots as a model for the atom, Sossinsky moves to the connection of knots to braids and then on to the arithmetic of knots. Other topics are the Jones polynomial, which links knot theory to physics, and a clear exposition on Vassilev invariants. Throughout, this book untangles many a snag in the field of mathematics. HUP, 2002, 127 p., b&w illus., hardcover, $24.95.
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Publication:Science News
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 11, 2003
Words:123
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