School Seminars and Colloquia

Mean unknotting times

Mathematical Physics Seminar

by Tao-ban Chan

Date: Thu 12th May 2005
Time: 3:15 PM
Location: Room 213, Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics, Richard Berry Building, University of Melbourne

Abstract: A strand of DNA if often tangled inside a cell, and must
untangle to replicate. This is done by the action of the family of
topoisomerase enzymes, which cut and rejoin the DNA.

We have studied the duration of this process using a simple knot model.
We model the DNA by a knot, and then study the time taken to unknot by
randomly reversing crossings in the knot. We have generated random knot
embeddings by means of self-avoiding polygon trails.

The talk will also include a bit of knot theory for those who know knot.

For More Information: Iwan Jensen tel: 8344-5214 email: