The Alexander Polynomial

Michael Snape (University of Glasgow)

Friday 8th May, 2015 16:00-17:00 Maths 417


In 1923 J.W. Alexander devised a method of assigning a polynomial to a knot in a way that was invariant under Reidemeister moves. This became known as the Alexander polynomial, and was the first of many such knot polynomials to be developed in the 20th Century. In this talk we will see a homological definition for the polynomial via the theory of infinite cyclic covers, as well as various tricks that can be used to calculate it.

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