Henri Poincare


Poincare founded the modern qualitative theory of dynamical systems.

He created topology, the study of shapes and their continuity, and used this new mathematical tool to attempt to answer the question "Is the solar system stable?", a question posed by King Oscar II of Sweden with a cash prize promised to (s)he who answered it definitively.

Actually, Poincare tried to understand just three bodies moving under their mutual gravitational attraction.

Poincare won the prize with his publication of On The Problem of Three Bodies and the Equations of Equilibrium. These three bodies are an excellent example of a dynamical system.

In his attempt to solve this problem Poincare introduced the Poincare section and saw the first signs of Chaos.






Exhibits || Lexicon || Timeline

The Exploratorium, 1996

Henri Poincare

Henri Poincare


Poincare founded the modern qualitative theory of dynamical systems.

He created topology, the study of shapes and their continuity, and used this new mathematical tool to attempt to answer the question "Is the solar system stable?", a question posed by King Oscar II of Sweden with a cash prize promised to (s)he who answered it definitively.

Actually, Poincare tried to understand just three bodies moving under their mutual gravitational attraction.

Poincare won the prize with his publication of On The Problem of Three Bodies and the Equations of Equilibrium. These three bodies are an excellent example of a dynamical system.

In his attempt to solve this problem Poincare introduced the Poincare section and saw the first signs of Chaos.






Exhibits || Lexicon || Timeline

The Exploratorium, 1996