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Polynomial invariants for torus knots and topological strings. (English) Zbl 1018.81049
Summary: We make a precision test of a recently proposed conjecture relating Chern-Simons gauge theory to topological string theory on the resolution of the conifold. First, we develop a systematic procedure to extract string amplitudes from vacuum expectation values (vevs) of Wilson loops in Chern-Simons gauge theory, and then we evaluate these vevs in arbitrary irreducible representations of \(\text{SU}(N)\) for torus knots. We find complete agreement with the predictions derived from the target space interpretation of the string amplitudes. We also show that the structure of the free energy of topological open string theory gives further constraints on the Chern-Simons vevs. Our work provides strong evidence towards an interpretation of knot polynomial invariants as generating functions associated to enumerative problems.

81T45 Topological field theories in quantum mechanics
57M27 Invariants of knots and \(3\)-manifolds (MSC2010)
81T13 Yang-Mills and other gauge theories in quantum field theory
81T30 String and superstring theories; other extended objects (e.g., branes) in quantum field theory
58J99 Partial differential equations on manifolds; differential operators
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