Visit the Higher Education Gateway
Readership: Beginning mathematics and science students, sixth formers (advanced), mathematics teachers and lecturers. General readers with some mathematical curiosity.
David Acheson, Fellow in Mathematics, Jesus College, Oxford
"The author has been really successful in combining very intuitive mathematics with very intuitive physics in a highly readable book.....this is a most advisable book for first year courses on applied calculus, dynamics or introductory physics (or for a part of such courses). It will be also very useful to science teachers in schools and to general readers interested in science who wish to use their home computers to keep up with an important aspect of physical science." - Institute of Physics
"Using carefully selected examples, from the time of Newton to the present day the author demonstrates in a highly readable form what we usually call the mathematization of physical problems." - European Mathematical Society Newsletter, issue 27, March 1998
"The project as a whole succeeds well, and the book deserves to be on the shelves of people ranging from school science teachers to undergraduates in mathematics and physics....The last chapter deals with stability of inverted pendulums, and gives an excellent rounded account of how the theory, experiments, and simulations interact to explain this fascinating effect...The material presented here is a fascinating and unpretentious sweep through the subject, and it would make an ideal course text at undergraduate level, or an individual study book for well-motivated 'A' level readers...The aim of giving the reader insight into a wide array of dynamical problems using very elementary
mathematics is achieved well, and the excellent selection of examples and historical asides adds depth to the topics covered."
"I enjoyed reading this book and learned quite a lot from it. I recommend it to anyone who - like myself - knows calculus better than chaos, and would like to begin rectifying the situation as painlessly as possible"
A brief review of calculus
Ordinary differential equations
Computer solution methods
Waves and diffusion
The best of all possible worlds?
Instability and catastrophe
Nonlinear oscillations and chaos
The not-so-simple pendulum
Appendix A: Elementary programming in QBASIC
Appendix B: Ten programs for exploring dynamics
Solutions to the exercises