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.
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.