« Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach | Main | Still more Ostheim »

December 31, 2005


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


How about some links on those titles, for those of us who are both covetous and lazy?


Cosma, you got it. Themis and the Spoerri, you'll have to dig a little.

(Yes, I am pimping for Amazon. Now I have an excuse to wear the hat. Not that I needed one, you understand.)

Robert P.

If you want to read some celestial mechanics-related stuff that is, in all seriousness, enjoyable for its prose style as well as its scientific content, I recommend a famous review article by Michael V. Berry, "Regular and Irregular Motion", originally published in a somewhat hard-to-find AIP conference proceedings volume but readily available as a pdf on Berry's web page, http://www.phy.bris.ac.uk/people/berry_mv/publications.html, look for publication number 76 under the year 1978. It's actually a general introduction to the nonlinear dynamics of Hamiltonian systems (the KAM theorem and all that) but it's intimately tied up with celestial mechanics, since the Hamiltonian version of modern dynamical systems theory was largely motivated by problems from celestial mechanics and plasma physics. A whole generation of physicists, as well as a few adventurous physical chemists, learned their nonlinear dynamics from this article.

Actually, anything by Michael Berry is worth reading, for style as well as for substance.


Damn, that's a smooth paper. Thanks, Robert!


Carlos --- thanks! Also, you might like June Barrow-Green's Poincar and the Three-Body Problem, and (to pimp just a little, if such a thing is possible, not that I could ever pull off that hat) Diacu and Holmes's Celestial Encounters.


Hi Cosma,

I've read the Diacu -- hey, Romanian content! -- and many of the papers mentioned there. It stops a little bit before current practical application, although it has a nice explanation of Jeff Xia's wicked five-body singularity solution. The Barrow-Green looks interesting.

There's also a book on the CM three-body problem coming out from Cambridge UP by two Finnish dynamicists -- not Saari, I am blanking on the names -- sometime in the next month.



You could also take a peek at Poincare himself - the AIP published a translation of his 1100 page hernia-inducer in the early 1990's, and you can probably find it at some nearby University library. It's pretty tough slogging, though - I never read more than a few pages (I felt compelled to work through the section, somewhere in Volume 3 IIRC, where he introduces the homoclinic tangle. Then again, I also felt compelled to look up Hamilton's original papers in order to find out what name he gave to the "Hamiltonian". Turned out he didn't give it a name, but he did call it "H" !)

The comments to this entry are closed.