V.I. Arnold, who is renowned for his lively style, retraces the beginnings of mathematical analysis and theoretical physics in the works (and the intrigues!) of the great scientists of the 17th century. Some of Huygens' and Newton's ideas. several centuries ahead of their time, were developed only recently. The author follows the link between their inception and the breakthroughs in contemporary mathematics and physics. he book provides present-day generalizations of Newton's theorems on the elliptical shape of orbits and on the transcendence of abelian integrals; it offers a brief review of the theory of regular and chaotic movement in celestial mechanics, including the problem of ports in the distribution of smaller planets and a discussion of the structure of planetary rings.
Translated from the Russian by E.J.F. Primrose