Links and Families


simple link

Borromean rings

Links are made up of more than one strand. Here are some examples, starting with the unlink, and including the famous figure of the Borromean Rings, which is made up of three linked squashed circles of which any two are unlinked. John Robinson's sculpture Bonds of Friendship is an example of a link.



the quadroil is a link




the hexoil is a link






In attempting to reduce the tangle of knots and links to some kind of order, we also study families of knots and links. Above is shown how one series of knots and links in a family gets more and more complicated. This is a series of torus knots and links.


pretzel knot


Another family of knots is made like the figure eight. There are even more complicated families as on the right.

How many strands are there in the knots and links on this page? How many colours are needed? Mathematics starts with curiosity!


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© Mathematics and Knots, U.C.N.W.,Bangor, 1996 - 2002
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