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# Braid Group

Consider strings, each oriented vertically from a lower to an upper "bar." If this is the least number of strings needed to make a closed braid representation of a link, is called the braid index. A general -braid is constructed by iteratively applying the () operator, which switches the lower endpoints of the th and th strings--keeping the upper endpoints fixed--with the th string brought above the th string. If the th string passes below the th string, it is denoted .

The operations and on strings define a group known as the braid group or Artin braid group, denoted .

Topological equivalence for different representations of a braid word and is guaranteed by the conditions

 (1)

as first proved by E. Artin.

Any -braid can be expressed as a braid word, e.g., is a braid word in the braid group . When the opposite ends of the braids are connected by nonintersecting lines, knots (or links) may formed that can be labeled by their corresponding braid word. The Burau representation gives a matrix representation of the braid groups.

Braid, Braid Index, Braid Word, Knot, Link

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## References

Adams, C. C. The Knot Book: An Elementary Introduction to the Mathematical Theory of Knots. New York: W. H. Freeman, pp. 132-133, 1994.Birman, J. S. "Braids, Links, and the Mapping Class Groups." Ann. Math. Studies, No. 82. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1976.Birman, J. S. "Recent Developments in Braid and Link Theory." Math. Intell. 13, 52-60, 1991. Christy, J. "Braids." http://library.wolfram.com/infocenter/MathSource/813/.Jones, V. F. R. "Hecke Algebra Representations of Braid Groups and Link Polynomials." Ann. Math. 126, 335-388, 1987.Murasugi, K. and Kurpita, B. I. A Study of Braids. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer, 1999.

Braid Group

## Cite this as:

Weisstein, Eric W. "Braid Group." From MathWorld--A Wolfram Web Resource. https://mathworld.wolfram.com/BraidGroup.html