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Solar System Dynamics [Paperback]

by Carl D. Murray, Stanley F. Dermott
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 13, 2000 0521575974 978-0521575973
The force of gravity acting over eons has provided the solar system with an intricate dynamical structure, much of it revealed by recent space missions. This comprehensive introduction to the dynamical features of the solar system also provides all the mathematical tools and physical models needed for a complete understanding of the subject. Clearly written and well illustrated coverage shows how a basic knowledge of the two- and three-body problems and perturbation theory can be combined to understand features as diverse as the tidal heating of Jupiter's moon Io, the origin of the Kirkwood gaps in the asteroid belt, and the radial structure of Saturn's rings. Problems at the end of each chapter and a free Internet Mathematica® software package help students to fully develop their understanding of the subject. This volume provides an authoritative textbook for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses on planetary dynamics and celestial mechanics. It also equips students with the mathematical tools to tackle broader courses on dynamics, dynamical systems, applications of chaos theory and nonlinear dynamics. Written by two leading figures in planetary dynamics, it is a benchmark publication in the field and destined to become a classic.

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Editorial Reviews


"...the first textbook to describe the powerful new analytic and numerical methods in planetary dynamics, and one of the most important textbooks in this field in several decades. It will be read by every serious student of solar system dynamics." Professor Scott Tremaine, Princeton University

"The need for a new and exhaustive book in solar system dynamics is wonderfully met by [this] text....stimulating, well-written, and informative, it discusses in a masterly way every significant and exciting recent development in the subject. The authors' crystal-clear greatly helped by the inclusion of the necessary classical background...[and] cleverly-constructed problems...[this] book will undoubtedly take its place with previously acknowledged leaders in its field. It will become indispensable to undergraduate and postgraduate students and to the serious researcher." Professor Archie E. Roy, University of Glasgow

"...a lucid textbook and a comprehensive reference....An authoritative work of this type is long overdue and this one should remain a classic in the field for years to come." Dr. Donald K. Yeomans, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

"...succeeds admirably in presenting the classical methods as well as the latest research techniques and results...likely to become the standard graduate-level text in this field. I wish I'd had it when I started out in solar system dynamics." Professor Martin J. Duncan, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario

"...this book is well written, well organized, and is certainly a welcome addition to the library of any astrodynamacist, solar system or not." Applied Mechanics Reviews

"All topics are covered both qualitatively and quantitatively with impressive rigor... A useful resource for students studying mathematical techniques in dynamics." Choice

"The book under review, written by leading specialists in the field, is an excellent addition to the literature on solar system dynamics and, more generally, celestial mechanics...It provides an in-depth presentation of what is known at this point, including many results of the authors themselves." Mathematical Reviews

"The book represents an exciting excursion into the dynamics of the solar system as a whole and of its separate constituents (planets, planetary satellites, asteroids, comets etc). The book represents a "bridge" from the classical celestial mechanics to the modern dynamical astronomy. ... As a whole, [this monograph] represents an indubitable interest for the scientific researchers who specialize in the field of celestial mechanics and dynamics of the solar-system bodies, as well as for the students and aspirants of corresponding specialties." - Translated review, originally written by K.B.Kholshhevnikov and V.V.Orlov for Astron. Vestnik

"...[the authors] have expanded significantly the usual boundaries of the old classical Celestial mechanics, taking into account the development of the ground-based observations and observations from space, and unprecedented progress of the computational means and codes. It allowed to not only present, with mathematical rigor, the results of the studies of the solar-system dynamics known from the classical Celestial mechanics, but also to introduce the reader to the relatively young scientific discipline related with modern theories of resonant events and chaos. ... The book is targeted for the specialists working in the field of modern Celestial mechanics, and for the university students and aspirants." - Translated review, originally written by V.K.Abalakin for Books about the Earth and the Sky

Book Description

This is the first comprehensive introduction to the dynamics of the Solar System. It is a benchmark publication in the field of planetary dynamics. Clearly written and well illustrated, Solar System Dynamics shows how a basic knowledge of the two- and three-body problems and perturbation theory can be combined to understand features as diverse as the tidal heating of Io to the origin of the Kirkwood gaps in the asteroid belt. Problems in the text and a free Internet Mathematica® software package are provided to help students. Solar System Dynamics provides an authoritative textbook for courses on planetary dynamics and celestial mechanics. It also equips students with the mathematical tools to tackle courses on dynamics, dynamical systems, applica tions of chaos theory and non-linear dynamics.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (February 13, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521575974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521575973
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #898,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authoritative, Fascinating, Challenging July 4, 2000
Three books on our solar system appeared in the past year or so. Each has its own "flavor." I will review them in turn, but browsers should be aware of the others, so they are listed here: See also, "The New Solar System," J. Kelly Beatty, Carolyn Collins Petersen, Andrew Chalkin, and "The Planetary Scientist's Companion," Katharine Lodders and Bruce Fegley, Jr.
If one of the other books, "The New Solar System" is lacking in mathematics, this volume more than makes up for it. Although my current interest, the Titius/Bode Law, is given only one page of description, it is a full and fair assessment of this astronomical curiosity. The authors immediately follow this on p. 9 by a statement that sums up the flavor of the rest of the book: "...It is Newton's laws that are at work and the subtle gravitational effect that determines the dynamical structure of our solar system is the phenomenon of 'resonance'." Planets do not circle the sun independently, they influence each other's orbits in fascinating and subtle ways, some of which may take billions of years to evolve.
The manifold aspects of "resonance" can be seen in the Chapter headings: The Two-Body Problem, The Restricted Three-Body Problem, Tides, Rotation, and Shape, Spin-Orbit Coupling, The Disturbing Function, Secular Perturbations, Resonant Perturbations, Chaos and Long-Term Evolution, and Planetary Rings.
The mathematics appears to be straightforward, but like most perturbation theory, it is not simple. Calculus is essential, of course. However, I welcome it. It will challenge my curiosity and ability for many years to come.
This is a compelling, must-have book for the advanced student of the science underlying our solar system and probably of other planetary systems as well.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Richly detailed, with dense mathematics and many typos January 4, 2007
By Dave
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book hoping to learn about subtleties in the solar system such as horseshoe orbits, shepherding satellites in ring systems, etc. I was richly rewarded. The book goes into deep detail on a large variety of secular and resonant phenomena. But a couple of warnings are appropriate.

First, the book has a very high density of equations, and having studied physics I've seen my share. The math is not too difficult, really (mostly expansions, transformations, etc.), but the authors do not shy away from showing all the details of a calculation. In several chapters expansion follows expansion until the reader is lost in a sea of similar variables. Without spending much more time deriving the results myself, there was no hope of following portions of their development. The book might well have benefitted from tighter editing in this regard; perhaps more of this detail could have been relegated to appendices so that the physical conclusions would stand out more clearly.

Second, there are a lot of errors in the book, both typos in equations and in surrounding text. I easily spotted a number of errors which were obvious even to a neophyte in orbital mechanics like myself. They should not have escaped good proofreading. A Google search for "solar system dynamics errata" (without the quotes) will bring you to a pdf file containing detailed corrections. Kudos to the authors for maintaining such a file! I strongly recommend readers download it and keep it handy while using the book.

Bottom line: tough going but rewarding.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic of the Field January 8, 2007
We all know that the solar system is a system centered on the sun (we know that now, needless to say that in Galileo's time you went to jail for saying that). What few of us realize is just how dynamic the solar system really is.

The rings of Saturn were first discovered by Galileo in 1610, but not really understood to be a thin disk of indivudial items until Maxwell in 1859. The rings of Uranus, Neptune and Jupiter weren't really discovered until very recently. Why rings? Why are they spaced the way they are? Why are some of them twisted. And what about comets, some of which have moons of their own?

This is the classic book on how things move in the solar system. It is the world of Newtonian mechanics, but brought forward by 350 years of observatiosn.

This book does not shy away from the mathematics that really describe what's happening. A bit of calculus, including integral calculus, will be needed to get the full impact of what the authors are saying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Solar system Bible August 22, 2011
By Ak
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is by far my most used/readable textbook. I call it my bible, since I am constantly referring to it for the most fundamental dynamics. So many sections are incredibly useful for us Planetary Scientists and Astronomers. It breaks down in a very easily understandable way many of the complex dynamics such as Perturbation equations, 3 body problems, resonances, and the all mighty disturbing function. If you are in/planning on entering the Astronomy/Planetary Science fields and this book is not on your shelf as you read this, BUY IT! Small price to pay for something so useful.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Effective January 27, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a graduate student in astronomy I highly recommend this book. It gets the job done on a multitude of dynamical topics, and the explanations come in many layers. One can skip to the equations in a relatively easy manner, but in depth derivations are provided.

Among these, the best explanation of what an arbitrary 2-body orbit looks like on the sky.

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