Adventures in Order and Chaos: A Scientific Autobiography by George Contopoulos

By George Contopoulos

The box of Order and Chaos had a amazing growth within the final 50 years. the most cause was once using pcs, and the improvement of recent theoretical equipment that we name now 'the conception of chaos'. the writer describes this interesting interval in a calm and occasionally funny autobiographical approach. He relates his interactions with many folks in dynamical astronomy and he charges numerous anecdotes from those interactions. He refers additionally to his reports whilst he served in a variety of foreign positions, equivalent to normal secretary of the IAU and chairman of the magazine Astronomy and Astrophysics. lately the speculation of chaos has been prolonged to new components, like relativity, cosmology and quantum mechanics and it maintains increasing in just about all branches of physics. The e-book describes many very important principles during this box in an easy approach. It refers additionally to difficulties of extra basic curiosity, like writing papers and giving lectures and the interplay of authors and referees. ultimately it provides a few beneficial clients for the way forward for dynamical astronomy and similar fields.

George Contopoulos, PhD U.Athens1953; Professor of Astronomy U.Thessaloniki 1957-75; U.Athens 1975-96; Emeritus 1996-; Member, Academy of Athens 1997-. traveling Professor Yale U., Harvard U., MIT, Cornell U., U.Chicago, U.Maryland, U. Florida, Florida kingdom U., U. Milan; Res. affiliate, Yerkes Obs., Inst.Adv.Study Princeton, Inst.Space stories, Goddard Flight middle, Columbia U., ESO. writer or Editor of 15 books, and approximately 250 papers on Galactic Dynamics, Relativity and Celestial Mechanics. Positions held: Gen.Secretary of the IAU; Director basic Nat.Obs.of Greece, Pres.Hellenic Astron.Soc.; Nat.Representative of Greece in NATO, and so forth. differences: Amer. Astron.Soc. Brouwer Prize; U.Chicago, Honorary Doctor's measure; IAU, Pres. fee 33 (Galaxy); Member Academia Europaea; affiliate Royal Astron. Soc.; Chairman of the eu magazine "Astronomy and Astrophysics"; Assoc. Editor of "Cel. Mech. Dyn. Astron."; Over 4500 citations and three hundred acknowledgements.

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Lin on “the density wave theory”, and by S. B. Pikelner on “magnetic approaches to spiral structure”. I presented also a gas dynamical version of the density wave theory that was developed by M. Fujimoto in Columbia University. I was familiar with this work since I had been in Columbia several times and had many discussions with Fujimoto and Prendergast. (The work of M. Fujimoto was published later (Fujimoto 1968)). Various attempts to explain the spiral arms as due to magnetic fields in galaxies had been made over the previous years.

At Yale, a most important event was the organization of a special Colloquium on modern dynamical problems (1962). We had among the participants, J. Moser, M. H´enon, A. Toomre, and others, most of them non-American. (Victor Szebehely made the remark that our American friends should feel embarrassed by being a minority). J¨ urgen Moser (Fig. 5) spoke about the KAM theorem. But when I asked him if he could give a practical application in a simple astronomical problem, like the Earth-Moon system, he refused even to make a guess.

I replied to him: “We went a-hunting with only one bullet and our single shot missed the game... Thus, for us, the fact that our 31 results were negative and we could not continue our exploration of other cases, was sad and not amusing”. Then Toomre wrote me: “I should have thanked you at once for your “a-hunting with only one bullet” letter of June 22 in which you objected, ever so politely to our use of the word “amusing”. Then he changed “amusing” into the less ambiguous “ironic” in his published paper (Toomre A.

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