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Nonlinear behavior can be found in such highly disparate areas as population biology and aircraft wing flutter. For this reason, nonlinear dynamics and chaos have become very active fields of research. This work uses an extended case study--an experiment in mechanical vibration--to introduce and explore the subject of nonlinear behavior and chaos from an engineering perspective. After a review of basic principles, the text then describes a cart-on-a-track oscillator and shows what happens when it is gradually subjected to greater excitation, thereby encountering the full spectrum of nonlinear behavior, from simple free decay to chaos. Advanced undergraduate and graduate students, as well as practicing engineers, will find this book a lively, accessible introduction to the subject.
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