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Mathematics  2015 

Linking number and writhe in random linear embeddings of graphs

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Abstract:

In order to model entanglements of polymers in a confined region, we consider the linking numbers and writhes of cycles in random linear embeddings of complete graphs in a cube. Our main results are that for a random linear embedding of $K_n$ in a cube, the mean sum of squared linking numbers and the mean sum of squared writhes are of the order of $\theta(n(n!))$. We obtain a similar result for the mean sum of squared linking numbers in linear embeddings of graphs on $n$ vertices, such that for any pair of vertices, the probability that they are connected by an edge is $p$. We also obtain experimental results about the distribution of linking numbers for random linear embeddings of these graphs. Finally, we estimate the probability of specific linking configurations occurring in random linear embeddings of the graphs $K_6$ and $K_{3,3,1}$.

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