Why Knot?: An Introduction to the Mathematical Theory of Knots with Tangle
June 2008, ©2004
Each copy of Why Knot? is packaged with a plastic manipulative called the Tangle®. Adams uses the Tangle because “you can open it up, tie it in a knot and then close it up again.” The Tangle is the ultimate tool for knot theory because knots are defined in mathematics as being closed on a loop. Readers use the Tangle to complete the experiments throughout the brief volume.
This beautifully illustrated comic book is appropriate for many mathematics courses at the undergraduate level such as liberal arts math, and topology. Additionally, the book could easily challenge high school students in math clubs or honors math courses.
Section 1: Introduction.
Section 2: Mathematical Knots: What Are They?
A. The Basic Idea.
C. Crossing Number.
D. Reidemeister Moves.
F. Unknotting Number.
G. How Many Knots Are There?
H. Denoting Pictures of Knots.
Section 3: Knots, What Good Are They?
B. Knotted DNA.
C. Knotted Molecules.
D. Random Knotting.
Section 4: The Future.
Some Answers to the Experiments.
Humorous tone and friendly format make this book accessible and enjoyable
Wide appeal: for higher education undergraduate, gifted high school students, or anyone with an interest in mathematics
Modern applications including DNA research, dynamical systems, and fluid mechanics