© 1997

The Genesis of Simulation in Dynamics

Pursuing the Fermi-Pasta-Ulam Problem


  • Discusses such problems as the nonlinear oscillator simulation carried out by Fermi, Pasta, and Ulam at Los Alamos in the early 1950s; the mathematical rediscovery of solitons in the early 1960s; and the general problems of computability discussed by Kolmorogov, Arnold and Moser, by Ford, and by many others.


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Introduction

    1. Thomas P. Weissert
      Pages 1-6
  3. History

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 7-7
    2. Thomas P. Weissert
      Pages 31-49
  4. Philosophy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 103-103
    2. Thomas P. Weissert
      Pages 105-138
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 139-176

About this book


We hear a lot about dynamical systems theory these days-"chaos dy­ namics" is the popular idiom-but very little of this abstract discipline is taught in undergraduate or even in graduate school, unless that happens to be one's own field. People may have heard some of the terms, but they may not understand what a dynamicist does. Just what does a dynamicist do? Although I've been through the training, I spend much more time talk­ ing and thinking about dynamics than actually doing it, which is a circum­ stance that affords me an interesting perspective. Some time after defending my dissertation, when I stopped back by my alma mater on a visit through Boulder, I ran into one of my advisors, a practicing dynamicist, and he was excited to show me his new workstation and its resident software. Hope­ fully, by relating what I experienced then, I may in part help to answer my opening question. He sat down in front of a very large screen, at least 19 inches across, so closely, that it filled his field of view completely. At his fingertips were the usual mouse and keyboard. He fired up the software and chose a model; I think we were out to explore "just the standard map. " As the program began, the screen remained black, except for a small blinking cursor at the middle.


Mathematica chaos dynamical systems dynamics epistemology modeling philosophy soliton topology

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.The Agnes Irwin SchoolRosemontUSA

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Genesis of Simulation in Dynamics
  • Book Subtitle Pursuing the Fermi-Pasta-Ulam Problem
  • Authors Thomas P. Weissert
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-387-98236-6
  • Softcover ISBN 978-0-387-98237-3
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-4612-1956-9
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIII, 176
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Physics, general
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
Materials & Steel
Chemical Manufacturing
Consumer Packaged Goods
Energy, Utilities & Environment