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Exploring Chaos: Theory and Experimentby Brian Davies
Synopses & Reviews
This book presents elements of the theory of chaos in dynamical systems in a framework of theoretical understanding coupled with numerical and graphical experimentation. The theory is developed using only elementary calculus and algebra, and includes dynamics of one-and two-dimensional maps, periodic orbits, stability and its quantification, chaotic behavior, and bifurcation theory of one-dimensional systems. There is an introduction to the theory of fractals, with an emphasis on the importance of scaling, and a concluding chapter on ordinary differential equations. The accompanying software, written in Java, is available online (see link below). The program enables students to carry out their own quantitative experiments on a variety of nonlinear systems, including the analysis of fixed points of compositions of maps, calculation of Fourier spectra and Lyapunov exponents, and box counting for two-dimensional maps. It also provides for visualizing orbits, final state and bifurcation diagrams, Fourier spectra and Lyapunov exponents, basins of attractions, three-dimensional orbits, Poincaré sections, and return maps. Please visit http://www.maths.anu.edu.au/~briand/chaos/ for the integrated cross-platform software.
Book News Annotation:
Chaotic dynamics has revolutionized study of the complex behavior of "simple" systems. Davies (emeritus, mathematics, Australian National U., Canberra) introduces students and scientists to this field of interdisciplinary interest by integrating lecture notes on fractals and such with exercises utilizing free downloadable software. Details on the original edition apparently got lost in the chaos of publishing.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
An exciting new way of teaching chaos in dynamical systems to undergraduates, using a combination of text and computer experiments.
About the Author
Brian Davies is a Professor of Mathematics at the Australian National University in Canberra, ACT. His research interests include exactly integrable non-linear quantum systems, lattice statistical mechanics, non-linear dynamical systems and chaos, and the use of computers in teaching. He has been a visiting fellow at Oxford University, Bristol University, and the Free University (Berlin). He has published many articles in his field.
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