The course will introduce students to the basic concepts of nonlinear physics, dynamical system theory, and chaos. These concepts will be studied by examining the behavior of fundamental model systems that are modeled by ordinary differential equations and, sometimes, discrete maps. Examples will be drawn from physics, chemistry, and engineering. Some mathematical theory is necessary to develop the material. Practice through concrete examples will help to develop the geometric intuition necessary for work on nonlinear systems. Students conduct numerical experiments using provided software, which allows for interactive learning.
Mathematics through ordinary differential equations. Familiarity with MATLAB is helpful. Consult instructor for more information.