Topological Quantities: Calculating Winding, Writhing, Linking, and Higher Order Invariants

  • Mitchell A. BergerEmail author
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mathematics book series (LNM, volume 1973)


Many topological calculations can be done most easily using the basic idea of winding number. This chapter demonstrates the use of winding number techniques in calculating writhe, linking number, twist, and higher order braid invariants. The writhe calculation works for both closed and open curves. These measures have applications in molecular biology, materials science, fluid mechanics and astrophysics.


Tangent Vector Boundary Plane Axis Curve Relative Position Vector Topological Quantity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mathematics Dept.SECAM, University of ExeterExeterU.K.

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