Action-minimizing Methods in Hamiltonian Dynamics (MN-50)An Introduction to Aubry-Mather Theory

Action-minimizing Methods in Hamiltonian Dynamics (MN-50)An Introduction to Aubry-Mather Theory

Alfonso Sorrentino

Print publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9780691164502

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Abstract

John Mather's seminal works in Hamiltonian dynamics represent some of the most important contributions to our understanding of the complex balance between stable and unstable motions in classical mechanics. His novel approach—known as Aubry–Mather theory—singles out the existence of special orbits and invariant measures of the system, which possess a very rich dynamical and geometric structure. In particular, the associated invariant sets play a leading role in determining the global dynamics of the system. This book provides a comprehensive introduction to Mather's theory, and can serve as an interdisciplinary bridge for researchers and students from different fields seeking to acquaint themselves with the topic. Starting with the mathematical background from which Mather's theory was born, the book first focuses on the core questions the theory aims to answer—notably the destiny of broken invariant KAM tori and the onset of chaos—and describes how it can be viewed as a natural counterpart of KAM theory. The book achieves this by guiding readers through a detailed illustrative example, which also provides the basis for introducing the main ideas and concepts of the general theory. It then describes the whole theory and its subsequent developments and applications in their full generality.