a1 University of Toronto, Canada
Let L be an alternating link and be its reduced (or proper) alternating diagram. Let w() denote the writhe of , i.e. the number of positive crossings minus the number of negative crossings. Let VL(t) be the Jones polynomial of L . Let dmax VL(t) and dmin VL(t) denote the maximal and minimal degrees of VL(t), respectively. Furthermore, let σ(L) be the signature of L .
(Received October 15 1986)