We announce results about flat (linkless) embeddings of graphs in 3-space. A piecewise-linear embedding of a graph in 3-space is called flat if every circuit of the graph bounds a disk disjoint from the rest of the graph. We have shown: (i) An embedding is flat if and only if the fundamental group of the complement in 3-space of the embedding of every subgraph is free. (ii) If two flat embeddings of the same graph are not ambient isotopic, then they differ on a subdivision of K5 or K3,3. (iii) Any flat embedding of a graph can be transformed to any other flat embedding of the same graph by “3-switches”, an analog of 2-switches from the theory of planar embeddings. In particular, any two flat embeddings of a 4-connected graph are either ambient isotopic, or one is ambient isotopic to a mirror image of the other. (iv) A graph has a flat embedding if and only if it has no minor isomorphic to one of seven specified graphs. These are the graphs that can be obtained from K6 by means of Y∆- and ∆Y-exchanges.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Mathematics
- Applied Mathematics