Henri Poincaré et l'émergence du concept de cycle limite

Abstract : The concept of "limit cycle" was introduced by Henri Poincaré in his second memoir "On curves defined by a differential equation" in 1882. From the point of view of physics, a stable limit cycle (or attractive) is the representation of the periodic solution of a (mechanical or electrical) dissipative system whose oscillations are maintained by the system itself. Conversely, the existence of a stable limit cycle ensures the maintenance of the oscillations. So far, the historiography considered that the Russian mathematician Aleksandr Andronov was the first to establish such a correspondence between the periodic solution of a self-oscillating system and Poincaré's concept of limit cycle. The recent discovery of a series of lectures given by Henri Poincaré in 1908 at the School of Post and Telegraph (now Telecom Paris Tech) proves that he had already used his limit cycle concept to establish the existence of a regime of maintained waves in a wireless device of radiotechnics. This article aims on the one hand to trace the emergence of this concept since its creation by Poincaré and the other hand to highlight its importance and role in the history of non-linear oscillations.
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Jean-Marc Ginoux. Henri Poincaré et l'émergence du concept de cycle limite. Quadrature, EDP Sciences, 2012, Quadrature, pp.45-51. ⟨hal-01101641v2⟩

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