Monday, November 26, 2007

Knotty....

(Statutory warning: This page may contain material enuf to send anyone nuts.. fulla theory, so ppl who hate math, pls save urselves!!!)

(Disclaimer: The author is in no way responsible for any damage to anyone's brain as a result of reading this post!!!)


Its a vague memory now.. of one saturday morning wen "The Hindu Young World" taught me the English custom of making knots in handkerchiefs.... (Readin my posts shud ve told u by now tat im one ardent Hindu reader. Tho, personally, I find the Express a better paper, The Hindu is one I ve grown wid. N the Young World used to b a sorta addiction a long time ago) I don think anybody in Indian homes does that, but apparently it ws d commonest custom abroad, I mean that of keeping knot reminders...

Neway, it led me to ponder on how a person could remembr what they made the knot for.. ( Bein a very forgetful person myself, the fact that the kerchief knottin cant help me much, struck me badly, i guess!! ) Anyway, that was my first tryst with knotting. N after that, I completely forgot the significance or existence of knots, (except for occasional reminders by the Indian cinema of the "importance"(??!) of "the three knots", n ill refrain from commentin upon that!), til a few days ago wen i stumbled upon dis awesum theory of knots...

"THEORY of knots????", I went flabbergasted. Why shud anyone write a theory on knots???? I mean, on somethin as simple as knots?!!!


But, then, a little browsing opened my eyes to the romance of the world of knots....

Wikipedia says, even simple activities such as running a load from the hardware store to home can result in disaster if a clumsy twist in a cord passes for a knot. (lolz....) They are also "crucial" accessories(?) for truckers, sailors, netting, fabric-makers etc.. (I ll leave that part for u to read in wiki.. since im not a gr8 believer of ctrl+c ctrl+v s...). Wel, jokes apart, apparently, knots re so useful tat they are used even in genetics. N wat follows is my interpretation n comments on the knot theories i leafed thru..

Mathematical knots are defined as embeddings of circles in 3- dimensional euclidean space... meaning that, it is as if different circles wer superposed in 3 dim... (a very fundoo way of explainin)... N there are difrnt types of mathematical knots.. the diferent knots are described by a parameter that they cal the knot invariant...

There are also knot equivalents (meanin different knots tat can be reduced to d same type of knots) n knot diagrams (to show knots projected onto a single dimension) n some sorta moves (t s actually some mathematician's name, bt too unpronouncabl, so i leave it to overinterested ppl to find out!) that can be usd to find if 2 knots are equivalent or not.... n d list goes on.. der are knot polynomials (as u mite ve guessed, polynomials to describe knots) , n knot sums(!!!) n wat knot!!!! ;)

The weird thing is that math ppl ve done so much research on knots, n.........

O, i forgot.. there is also the "UNKNOT", which is thread wid ends joined together at both ends, that doesn form a knot!!!!

Neway, the point is that our mathematicians ve actually done so much of work on knots, n propounded such interestin theories on em.... N wat started wid d gordion knot, has now come a looooooooong way...

Kudos to mathematicians!!! (as long as thes theories don enter our textbooks! ;) )

N ya, hope they find sumthin for us knotheads to keep reminders in, better than handkerchiefs!!! (now, don reply cellphones!!!)

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