Reprint of the First Edition 1994., XIV, 341p. 49 illus..
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Opened new perspectives for the old field of Hamiltonian systems and let to the creation of a new field: symplectic topology
Invariants which grew out of lectures given by the authors
Selection by a single principle: the action principle of mechanics
The discoveries of the last decades have opened new perspectives for the old field of Hamiltonian systems and led to the creation of a new field: symplectic topology. Surprising rigidity phenomena demonstrate that the nature of symplectic mappings is very different from that of volume preserving mappings. This raises new questions, many of them still unanswered. On the other hand, analysis of an old variational principle in classical mechanics has established global periodic phenomena in Hamiltonian systems. As it turns out, these seemingly different phenomena are mysteriously related. One of the links is a class of symplectic invariants, called symplectic capacities. These invariants are the main theme of this book, which includes such topics as basic symplectic geometry, symplectic capacities and rigidity, periodic orbits for Hamiltonian systems and the action principle, a bi-invariant metric on the symplectic diffeomorphism group and its geometry, symplectic fixed point theory, the Arnold conjectures and first order elliptic systems, and finally a survey on Floer homology and symplectic homology.
The exposition is self-contained and addressed to researchers and students from the graduate level onwards.
All the chapters have a nice introduction with the historic development of the subject and with a perfect description of the state of the art. The main ideas are brightly exposed throughout the book. (…) This book, written by two experienced researchers, will certainly fill in a gap in the theory of symplectic topology. The authors have taken part in the development of such a theory by themselves or by their collaboration with other outstanding people in the area.
This book is a beautiful introduction to one outlook on the exciting new developments of the last ten to fifteen years in symplectic geometry, or symplectic topology, as certain aspects of the subject are lately called. (…) The authors are obvious masters of the field, and their reflections here and there throughout the book on the ambient literature and open problems are perhaps the most interesting parts of the volume.