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The Kauffman Polynomial

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The Kauffman polynomial F(K)(a,z) (see [Kauffman]) of a knot or link K is a^{-w(K)}L(K) where w(L) is the writhe of K (see How is the Jones Polynomial Computed?) and where L(K) is the regular isotopy invariant defined by the skein relations

L(s_+)=aL(s), \qquad L(s_-)=a^{-1}L(s)

(here s is a strand and s_\pm is the same strand with a \pm kink added) and

L(\backoverslash)+L(\slashoverback) = z\left(L(\smoothing)+L(\hsmoothing)\right)

and by the initial condition L(U)=1 where U is the unknot BigCirc symbol.gif.

KnotTheory` knows about the Kauffman polynomial:

(For In[1] see Setup)

In[2]:= ?Kauffman
Kauffman[K][a, z] computes the Kauffman polynomial of a knot or link K, in the variables a and z.
In[3]:= Kauffman::about
The Kauffman polynomial program was written by Scott Morrison.

Thus, for example, here's the Kauffman polynomial of the knot 5_2:

In[4]:= Kauffman[Knot[5, 2]][a, z]
Out[4]= 2 4 6 5 7 2 2 4 2 6 2 3 3 -a + a + a - 2 a z - 2 a z + a z - a z - 2 a z + a z + 5 3 7 3 4 4 6 4 2 a z + a z + a z + a z
5 2.gif

It is well known that the Jones polynomial is related to the Kauffman polynomial via

J(L)(q) = (-1)^{c+1}L(K)(-q^{-3/4},\,q^{1/4}+q^{-1/4}),

where K is some knot or link and where c is the number of components of K. Let us verify this fact for the torus knot T(8,3):

In[5]:= K = TorusKnot[8, 3];
In[6]:= Simplify[{ (-1)^(Length[Skeleton[K]]-1)Kauffman[K][-q^(-3/4), q^(1/4)+q^(-1/4)], Jones[K][q] }]
Out[6]= 7 9 16 7 9 16 {q + q - q , q + q - q }

[Kauffman] ^  L. H. Kauffman, An invariant of regular isotopy, Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 312 (1990) 417-471.