5 comments on “Tied up in Knots

  1. I was particularly interested when reading your article this week in New Scientist on “Knot Theory” in the way that it may have insights to Cosmology. Lee Smolin wrote a book called “Three roads to reality ” which indicated his ideas as to how Quantum gravity may possibly be ‘cracked’ using aspects of knots. I am very keen to understand the “Categorification” that links Quantum mechanics with superstings. Perhaps you could explain. I think there is something here somewhere that will make some steps forward in cosmology .

  2. Thanks Mike. There’s lots of stuff around the web on categorification in physics – in fact it’s the single area of mathematical physics best represented in the blogosphere. But it is very technical stuff, so it rather depends what your scientific background is.

    The chaps at the n-category cafe focus on it – it’s the weblog of John Baez, a researcher on categorification who has written lots on the internet, and in the public domain generally.

    If you’ve got some mathematical know-how, there’s a good introduction to categorification here. There’s plenty more around the place.

  3. Thank you Ronnie – what an honour!

    Certainly I am aware of the area. Your webpages look like an excellent resource, which I shall look forward to perusing.

  4. Dr. Elwes,

    Hi. Reading your article in New Scientist on knot theory and categorification struck a chord with me since some of my own amateur thinking leads me to think that quantum theory and relativity are just two different descriptions of the same infinite set(ie, our universe), and the difference lies in the the reference frame of the observer. An observer inside an infinite set where the observer is just another member of the set would set the set as quantized (quantum theory). An observer outset the set would see the set as smooth and continuous (relativity), much as we see the span from 0 to 1 as being infinitely divisible.

    Any feedback you might have would be welcome. Thank you.

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