Solar System Dynamics

by Carl D. Murray and Stanley F. Dermott

About the Book


Kepler's Geometrical Model Work on the book began about 1983 when Carl Murray visited Stan Dermott who was then at Cornell University. The previous summer Carl had returned to the UK having spent two and a half years as a postdoc at Cornell working with Stan. During that time they developed a good working relationship and in 1983 it was agreed that Carl would join Stan in an effort to produce a graduate level book covering solar system dynamics. Some sixteen years and many trans-Atlantic trips later their work came to fruition with the publication of their book by Cambridge University Press.

The plans for the book altered many times over the years and there were many diversions as both authors got involved with various research projects, many of them inspired by items they had been investigating for the book. Courses covering the subject material have been given by Carl Murray at Queen Mary & Westfield College, and Stan Dermott at the University of Florida, Gainesville, to where Stan had moved in 1989. Each year the course notes (which were to become the basis for the book) would be revised in accordance with feedback from students, postdocs and staff at the respective institutions. As a result, many more people contributed to the book than could be thanked in the published acknowledgements.

How Was It Done?

The book was prepared by Carl Murray on a succession of Apple® Macintosh® machines (from an SE30 to a G3) at Queen Mary & Westfield College. Three software packages were essential throughout the process. They were Textures®, Mathematica® and Illustrator®. The process was as follows: All typesetting was done on Textures® using macros supplied by Cambridge University Press. Textures® allowed encapsulated PostScript® format (EPSF) files produced by other packages to be imported directly into Textures® documents. It was also possible to export typeset pages as files to be read in by Illustrator®; this greatly facilitated the production of typeset viewgraphs for use in lectures.

Plots of data or specific graphics that could be defined mathematically such as orbits, curves of constant Hamiltonian, etc., were done using Mathematica® and then exported as Illustrator® files. Note that all annotation was kept to a minimum in the Mathematica® plots - most annotation was carried out in Illustrator®, even making use of imported typeset equations and symbols generated using Textures®. The main advantage of a drawing tool such as Illustrator® is that it was possible to place annotation interactively, making the fine adjustments to locations and styles in a short time. The final figure was then displayed as part of the typeset document under Textures® and printed off for use in the lecture courses. Ultimately the figures were sent to the publishers along with the TeX files and hard copy.

Additional Information

Copyright © 1999-2006 by Carl D. Murray
Last modified on 8 September 2006
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