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The Writhing Number of a Space Curve

F. Brock Fuller
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 68, No. 4 (Apr., 1971), pp. 815-819
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/60686
Page Count: 5
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The Writhing Number of a Space Curve
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Abstract

A geometric invariant of a space curve, the writhing number, is defined and studied. For the central curve of a twisted cord the writhing number measures the extent to which coiling of the central curve has relieved local twisting of the cord. This study originated in response to questions that arise in the study of supercoiled double-stranded DNA rings.

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