Tangle Calculator

Note: This page is rather sketchy but should suffice until a better one is written. The interface to the tangle calculator will be completely redone in the near future.


Some familiarity with the famous and influential paper by John Conway is assumed.

The tangle calculator is a stack based calculator for tangles, the top four tangles in the stack are displayed. To use the tangle calculator, select the appropriate option from the pop-up menus. The buttons on the top of the control panel have functions that can be divided into four categories.

Creating new tangles
The 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 buttons will produce a new tangle of the type indicated on the button. The 0 and i buttons create zero and infinity tangles respectively.

Binary operations

Unary operations

Stack operations

To exit the tangle calculator press the 1* button, you should have one tangle on the stack at that time or have six tangles on the stack and then press the c button (this embeds the six tangles in the faces of a cube).

The sliders on the bottom of the panel have the following functions:

tgfuzz
controls a small amount of jitter added to the position of each bead.
tgspace
controls amount of space between beads when a tangle is created.
tg1*off
controls how much offset there is when the tangle is pasted into its 1* polyhedron, you might want it about 2 or so.
tgvas
cylinders with length less than this number are split in two recusively
scale and offset
just control the display of the tangle stack

One other problem with the tangle calculator is that if you don't exit properly (say, by pressing the blank button with other than 1 tangle) it might leave you with the tangle calc panel displayed but inactive. In a case light that use the pop-up menus to go to a different control panel or to reenter the tangle calculator.

Examples of knots and links created with the tangle calculator can be found at the KnotPlot Site.


[KnotPlot Manual], [View Window], [Control Panel], [Command Window], [Overview]
[Rob Scharein's main WWW site], [KnotPlot Site]