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Journal Articles Experimental Mathematics Year : 2023

Hard Diagrams of the Unknot


We present three “hard” diagrams of the unknot. They require (at least) three extra crossings before they can be simplified to the trivial unknot diagram via Reidemeister moves in S2. Both examples are constructed by applying previously proposed methods. The proof of their hardness uses significant computational resources. We also determine that no small “standard” example of a hard unknot diagram requires more than one extra crossing for Reidemeister moves in S2.

Dates and versions

hal-04235554 , version 1 (10-10-2023)



Benjamin Burton, Hsien-Chih Chang, Maarten Löffler, Arnaud de Mesmay, Clément Maria, et al.. Hard Diagrams of the Unknot. Experimental Mathematics, 2023, pp.1-19. ⟨10.1080/10586458.2022.2161676⟩. ⟨hal-04235554⟩
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