Mathematics thrives on analogies. Our analogy will be between the ways knots and numbers behave.
Sum of knots
Product of numbers
Adding the unknot is like multiplying by 1.
When adding knots the order does not matter, just as when multiplying numbers.
When adding knots you do not need to worry about how you work out the sum. Brackets do not make any difference in this operation - just as when you multiply numbers.
BEWARE ! - there is no minus. You cannot take away knots.
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© Mathematics and Knots, U.C.N.W.,Bangor, 1996 - 2002
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