Definition of Alexander polynomial in English:

Alexander polynomial


  • A polynomial in one variable that can be constructed for any knot (based on the number and type of crossings present in a two-dimensional representation of the knot), and is the same for any two knots which are topologically equivalent.


1930s; earliest use found in American Journal of Mathematics. From the name of James Waddell Alexander, U.S. mathematician, who suggested this method of characterizing knots in 1928 + polynomial.


Alexander polynomial

/alɪɡˌzɑːndə pɒlɪˈnəʊmɪəl//alɪɡˌzandə pɒlɪˈnəʊmɪəl/