A Basic Problem
Before we start with the subject proper, it is perhaps useful to look at a concretephysical example, which can be easily built in the laboratory. It is a pendulum with a magnet at the end, which oscillates above three symmetrically arranged fixed magnets, which attract the oscillating magnet, as shown in Fig. 1.1. When one holds the magnet slightly eccentrically and let it go, it will dance around the three magnets, and finally settle at one of the three, when friction has slowed it down enough.
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