I attended an interesting talk on Knot Theory yesterday by Professor Tim Porter from the University of Wales. Dr. Michael Brennan Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) got me interested in Knot Theory some time back – I keep thinking there is something in this field that can help with un-tangling software dependencies. Well, either way, it’s an interesting topic, and interesting that it is a topic.
Knot theory was started by the Lord Kelvin who reckoned that atoms were knots in the “aether” and that classifying all the different possible knots would explain the quantum effect. When the aether was discovered to not exist, Knot theory was out on a bit of a limb. However, the theory had progressed enough that it continued regardless, and has found other applications, notably in string theory and the study of DNA. Dr Brennan has applied it to celtic art – those braids you see on Irish high crosses and such like.