Osaka Journal of Mathematics

Rational Witt classes of pretzel knots

Stanislav Jabuka

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In his two pioneering articles [9, 10] Jerry Levine introduced and completely determined the algebraic concordance groups of odd dimensional knots. He did so by defining a host of invariants of algebraic concordance which he showed were a complete set of invariants. While being very powerful, these invariants are in practice often hard to determine, especially for knots with Alexander polynomials of high degree. We thus propose the study of a weaker set of invariants of algebraic concordance---the rational Witt classes of knots. Though these are rather weaker invariants than those defined by Levine, they have the advantage of lending themselves to quite manageable computability. We illustrate this point by computing the rational Witt classes of all pretzel knots. We give many examples and provide applications to obstructing sliceness for pretzel knots. Also, we obtain explicit formulae for the determinants and signatures of all pretzel knots. This article is dedicated to Jerry Levine and his lasting mathematical legacy; on the occasion of the conference ``Fifty years since Milnor and Fox'' held at Brandeis University on June 2--5, 2008.

Article information

Osaka J. Math., Volume 47, Number 4 (2010), 977-1027.

First available in Project Euclid: 20 December 2010

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Zentralblatt MATH identifier

Primary: 57M27: Invariants of knots and 3-manifolds 11E12: Quadratic forms over global rings and fields


Jabuka, Stanislav. Rational Witt classes of pretzel knots. Osaka J. Math. 47 (2010), no. 4, 977--1027.

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