The Tait Conjectures

Ruth Lawrence

Abstract: In 1877, Peter Guthrie Tait wrote "Here we may remark that it is obvious that when the crossings are alternately + and - no reduction is possible, unless there be essentially nugatory crossings." This is the original statement of the first of the Tait Conjectures, whose first proof had to wait until 1987 with the advent of the Jones polynomial.

Keywords: knots, Tait conjectures.

AMS subject classification: 57M27

Length: 5 pages

Reference: In `The Changing Shape of Geometry', Cambridge University Press (2003) 450-454

You can see a draft version of this paper here.

Last updated February 21st, 2005.