The XVI-th Hilbert problem about limit cycles

Volume 34 / 1995

Henryk Żołądek Banach Center Publications 34 (1995), 167-174 DOI: 10.4064/-34-1-167-174


1. Introduction. The XVI-th Hilbert problem consists of two parts. The first part concerns the real algebraic geometry and asks about the topological properties of real algebraic curves and surfaces. The second part deals with polynomial planar vector fields and asks for the number and position of limit cycles. The progress in the solution of the first part of the problem is significant. The classification of algebraic curves in the projective plane was solved for degrees less than 8. Among general results we notice the inequalities of Harnack and Petrovski and Rohlin's theorem. Other results were obtained by Newton, Klein, Clebsch, Hilbert, Nikulin, Kharlamov, Gudkov, Arnold, Viro, Fidler. There are multidimensional generalizations: the theory of Khovansky, the inequalities of Petrovski and Oleinik, and others. In contrast to the algebraic part of the problem, the progress in the solution of the second part is small. In the present article we concentrate on the second part of the XVI-th Hilbert problem.


  • Henryk Żołądek

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