Contemporary Mathematics 2002; 340 pp; softcover Volume: 304 ISBN10: 082183200X ISBN13: 9780821832004 List Price: US$105 Member Price: US$84 Order Code: CONM/304
 The properties of knotted and linked configurations in space have long been of interest to physicists and mathematicians. More recently and more widely, they have become important to biologists, chemists, computer scientists, and engineers. The depth and breadth of their applications are widely appreciated. Nevertheless, fundamental and challenging questions remain to be answered. Based on a Special Session at the AMS Sectional Meeting in Las Vegas (NV) in April 2001, this volume discusses critical questions and introduces new ideas that will stimulate multidisciplinary applications. Some of the papers are primarily theoretical; others are experimental. Some are purely mathematical; others deal with applications of mathematics to theoretical computer science, engineering, physics, biology, or chemistry. Connections are made between classical knot theory and the physical world of macromolecules, such as DNA, geometric linkages, rope, and even cooked spaghetti. This book introduces the world of physical knot theory in all its manifestations and points the way for new research. It is suitable for a diverse audience of mathematicians, computer scientists, engineers, biologists, chemists, and physicists. Readership Graduate students, mathematicians, computer scientists, engineers, biologists, chemists, and physicists. Table of Contents  J. Simon  Physical knots
 R. Randell  The space of piecewiselinear knots
 J. A. Calvo  Characterizing polygons in \(\mathbb{R}^3\)
 E. J. Rawdon and R. G. Scharein  Upper bounds for equilateral stick numbers
 K. C. Millett  An investigation of equilateral knot spaces and ideal physical knot configurations
 T. Deguchi and M. K. Shimamura  Topological effects on the average size of random knots
 A. Dobay, P.E. Sottas, J. Dubochet, and A. Stasiak  Bringing an order into random knots
 E. J. J. van Rensburg  The probability of knotting in lattice polygons
 E. J. J. van Rensburg  Knotting in adsorbing lattice polygons
 P. Pieranski and S. Przybyl  In search of the ideal trefoil knot
 Y. Diao and C. Ernst  The crossing numbers of thick knots and links
 R. Kusner  On thickness and packing density for knots and links
 J. M. Sullivan  Approximating ropelength by energy functions
 R. Langevin and J. O'Hara  Conformal geometric viewpoints for knots and links I
 O. Gonzalez, J. H. Maddocks, and J. Smutny  Curves, circles, and spheres
 G. Dietler, P. Pieranski, S. Kasas, and A. Stasiak  The rupture of knotted strings under tension
 L. H. Kauffman and S. Lambropoulou  Classifying and applying rational knots and rational tangles
 D. Roseman  Untangling some spheres in \(\mathbb{R}^4\) by energy minimizing flow
 M. Soss and G. T. Toussaint  Convexifying polygons in 3D: A survey
 R. Connelly, E. D. Demaine, and G. Rote  Infinitesimally locked selftouching linkages with applications to locked trees
 L. H. Kauffman  Biologic
