Abstract:
Curves in a family derived from powers of the polar coordinate formula for ellipses are found to provide good fits to bound orbits in a range of power-law potentials. This range includes the well-known $1/r$ (Keplerian) and logarithmic potentials. These approximate orbits, called p-ellipses, retain some of the basic geometric properties of ellipses. They satisfy and generalize Newton's apsidal precession formula, which is one of the reasons for their surprising accuracy. Because of their simplicity the p-ellipses make very useful tools for studying trends among power-law potentials, and especially the occurence of closed orbits. The occurence of closed or nearly closed orbits in different potentials highlights the possibility of period resonances between precessing, eccentric orbits and circular orbits, or between the precession period of multi-lobed closed orbits and satellite periods. These orbits and their resonances promise to help illuminate a number of problems in galaxy and accretion disk dynamics.

Abstract:
For zero energy, $E=0$, we derive exact, classical solutions for {\em all} power-law potentials, $V(r)=-\gamma/r^\nu$, with $\gamma>0$ and $-\infty <\nu<\infty$. When the angular momentum is non-zero, these solutions lead to the orbits $\r(t)= [\cos \mu (\th(t)-\th_0(t))]^{1/\mu}$, for all $\mu \equiv \nu/2-1 \ne 0$. When $\nu>2$, the orbits are bound and go through the origin. This leads to discrete discontinuities in the functional dependence of $\th(t)$ and $\th_0(t)$, as functions of $t$, as the orbits pass through the origin. We describe a procedure to connect different analytic solutions for successive orbits at the origin. We calculate the periods and precessions of these bound orbits, and graph a number of specific examples. Also, we explain why they all must violate the virial theorem. The unbound orbits are also discussed in detail. This includes the unusual orbits which have finite travel times to infinity and also the special $\nu = 2$ case.

Abstract:
It is shown that the radial Schroedinger equation for a power law potential and a particular angular momentum may be transformed using a change of variable into another Schroedinger equation for a different power law potential and a different angular momentum. It is shown that this leads to a mapping of the spectra of the two related power law potentials. It is shown that a similar correspondence between the classical orbits in the two related power law potentials exists. The well known correspondence of the Coulomb and oscillator spectra is a special case of a more general correspondence between power law potentials.

Abstract:
We construct a simple symplectic map to study the dynamics of eccentric orbits in non-spherical potentials. The map offers a dramatic improvement in speed over traditional integration methods, while accurately representing the qualitative details of the dynamics. We focus attention on planar, non-axisymmetric power-law potentials, in particular the logarithmic potential. We confirm the presence of resonant orbit families (``boxlets'') in this potential and uncover new dynamics such as the emergence of a stochastic web in nearly axisymmetric logarithmic potentials. The map can also be applied to triaxial, lopsided, non-power-law and rotating potentials.

Abstract:
We study the relationship between pairs of topological dynamical systems $ (X,T) $ and $ (X',T') $, where $ (X',T') $ is the quotient of $ (X,T) $ under the action of a finite group $ G $. We describe three phenomena concerning the behaviour of closed orbits in the quotient system, and the constraints given by these phenomena. We find upper and lower bounds for the extremal behaviour of closed orbits in the quotient system in terms of properties of $ G $ and show that any growth rate in between these bounds can be achieved.

Abstract:
We prove that the set of closed orbits in a real reductive representation contains a subset which is open with respect to the real Zariski topology if it has non-empty interior. In particular the set of closed orbits is dense.

Abstract:
Bertrand's theorem in classical mechanics of the central force fields attracts us because of its predictive power. It categorically proves that there can only be two types of forces which can produce stable, circular orbits. In the present article an attempt has been made to generalize Bertrand's theorem to the central force problem of relativistic systems. The stability criterion for potentials which can produce stable, circular orbits in the relativistic central force problem has been deduced and a general solution of it is presented in the article. It is seen that the inverse square law passes the relativistic test but the kind of force required for simple harmonic motion does not. Special relativistic effects do not allow stable, circular orbits in presence of a force which is proportional to the negative of the displacement of the particle from the potential center.

Abstract:
In a recent paper Robicheaux and Shaw [Phys. Rev. A 58, 1043 (1998)] calculate the recurrence spectra of atoms in electric fields with non-vanishing angular momentum not equal to 0. Features are observed at scaled actions ``an order of magnitude shorter than for any classical closed orbit of this system.'' We investigate the transition from zero to nonzero angular momentum and demonstrate the existence of short closed orbits with L_z not equal to 0. The real and complex ``ghost'' orbits are created in bifurcations of the ``uphill'' and ``downhill'' orbit along the electric field axis, and can serve to interpret the observed features in the quantum recurrence spectra.

Abstract:
By using the analogy between optics and quantum mechanics, we obtain the Snell law for the planar motion of quantum particles in the presence of quaternionic potentials.