Classical and Celestial Mechanics: The Recife Lectures

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This book brings together a number of lectures given between 1993 and 1999 as part of a special series hosted by the Federal University of Pernambuco, in which internationally established researchers came to Recife, Brazil, to lecture on classical or celestial mechanics. Because of the high quality of the results and the general interest in the lecturers' topics, the editors have assembled nine of the lectures here in order to make them available to mathematicians and students around the world. The material presented includes a good balance of pure and applied research and of complete and incomplete results. Bringing together material that is otherwise quite scattered in the literature and including some important new results, it will serve graduate students and researchers interested in Hamiltonian dynamics and celestial mechanics. The contributors are Dieter Schmidt, Ernesto Perez-Chavela, Mark Levi, Placido Taboas and Jack Hale, Jair Koiller et al., Hildeberto Cabral, Florin Diacu, and Alain Albouy. The topics covered include central configurations and relative equilibria for the N-body problem, singularities of the N-body problem, the two-body problem, normal forms of Hamiltonian systems and stability of equilibria, applications to celestial mechanics of Poincare's compactification, the motion of the moon, geometrical methods in mechanics, momentum maps and geometric phases, holonomy for gyrostats, microswimming, and bifurcation from families of periodic solutions.