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# Twist knot

A twist knot with six half-twists.

In knot theory, a branch of mathematics, a twist knot is a knot obtained by repeatedly twisting a closed loop and then linking the ends together. (That is, a twist knot is any Whitehead double of an unknot.) The twist knots are an infinite family of knots, and are considered the simplest type of knots after the torus knots.

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## Construction

A twist knot is obtained by linking together the two ends of a twisted loop. Any number of half-twists may be introduced into the loop before linking, resulting in an infinite family of possibilities. The following figures show the first few twist knots:

## Properties

The four half-twist stevedore knot is created by passing the one end of an unknot with four half-twists through the other.

All twist knots have unknotting number one, since the knot can be untied by unlinking the two ends. Every twist knot is also a 2-bridge knot.[1] Of the twist knots, only the unknot and the stevedore knot are slice knots.[2] A twist knot with ${\displaystyle n}$ half-twists has crossing number ${\displaystyle n+2}$. All twist knots are invertible, but the only amphichiral twist knots are the unknot and the figure-eight knot.

## Invariants

The invariants of a twist knot depend on the number ${\displaystyle n}$ of half-twists. The Alexander polynomial of a twist knot is given by the formula

${\displaystyle \Delta (t)={\begin{cases}{\frac {n+1}{2}}t-n+{\frac {n+1}{2}}t^{-1}&{\text{if }}n{\text{ is odd}}\\-{\frac {n}{2}}t+(n+1)-{\frac {n}{2}}t^{-1}&{\text{if }}n{\text{ is even,}}\\\end{cases}}}$

and the Conway polynomial is

${\displaystyle \nabla (z)={\begin{cases}{\frac {n+1}{2}}z^{2}+1&{\text{if }}n{\text{ is odd}}\\1-{\frac {n}{2}}z^{2}&{\text{if }}n{\text{ is even.}}\\\end{cases}}}$

When ${\displaystyle n}$ is odd, the Jones polynomial is

${\displaystyle V(q)={\frac {1+q^{-2}+q^{-n}-q^{-n-3}}{q+1}},}$

and when ${\displaystyle n}$ is even, it is

${\displaystyle V(q)={\frac {q^{3}+q-q^{3-n}+q^{-n}}{q+1}}.}$

## References

1. ^ Rolfsen, Dale (2003). Knots and links. Providence, R.I: AMS Chelsea Pub. p. 114. ISBN 0-8218-3436-3.
2. ^