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On the Groundstate Energy of Tight Knots

Francesca Maggioni and Renzo L. Ricca
Proceedings: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Vol. 465, No. 2109 (Sep. 8, 2009), pp. 2761-2783
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30243408
Page Count: 23
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On the Groundstate Energy of Tight Knots
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Abstract

New results on the groundstate energy of tight, magnetic knots are presented. Magnetic knots are defined as tubular embeddings of the magnetic field in an ideal, perfectly conducting, incompressible fluid. An orthogonal, curvilinear coordinate system is introduced and the magnetic energy is determined by the poloidal and toroidal components of the magnetic field. Standard minimization of the magnetic energy is carried out under the usual assumptions of volume- and flux-preserving flow, with the additional constraints that the tube cross section remains circular and that the knot length (ropelength) is independent from internal field twist (framing). Under these constraints the minimum energy is determined analytically by a new, exact expression, function of ropelength and framing. Groundstate energy levels of tight knots are determined from ropelength data obtained by the SONO tightening algorithm. Results for torus knots are compared with previous work, and the groundstate energy spectrum of the first prime knots - up to 10 crossings - is presented and analysed in detail. These results demonstrate that ropelength and framing determine the spectrum of magnetic knots in tight configuration.

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