Knotscape is an interactive program for the study of knots. Originally designed to allow easy access to the knot tables, its purpose has expanded somewhat to include computation of a variety of knot invariants. Users may enter a knot in several ways: as a braid, via Dowker/Thistlethwaite code (Gauss code), by selecting from the knot tables, or by drawing with a mouse. Once a knot has been entered Knotscape will, among other things,
- find the knot (or its summands with respect to connected sum) in the tables (provided it is truly a 16 crossing knot or less!),
- draw a pretty picture of it,
- compute its HOMFLY, Kauffman, Jones, or Alexander polynomial,
- compute representations of its fundamental group into the symmetric group on five letters, or
- compute various hyperbolic invariants a la Snap Pea. (We are indebted to Jeff Weeks for allowing us to include portions of Snap Pea.)
The program requires Tcl 7.4, 7.5, or 7.6 / Tk 4.0, 4.1 or 4.2. Binaries of the executables are provided for the following three platforms:
- i386 linux
Knotscape may be downloaded from Morwen Thistlethwaite's home page. Instructions for its installation will be found there, and instructions for using Knotscape are included in the package.
A preliminary version of Knotscape ported to the Mac by Adrian Sampson is now available. Click here to download.
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