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Chaotic Billiards
(2000)

The frictionless motion of a particle on a plane billiard table The frictionless motion of a particle on a plane billiard table bounded by a closed curve provides a very simple example of a conservative classical system with non-trivial, chaotic dynamics. The limiting cases of strictly regular ("integrable") and strictly irregular ("ergodic") systems can be illustrated, as well as the typical case which shows an intricate mixture of regular and irregular behavior. Irregular orbits are characterized by an extremely sensitivity with respect to the initial conditions. Such billiard systems are exemplarily suited for educational purposes as models for simple systems with complicated dynamics as well as for far-reaching fundamental investigations.