In mathematics, in the study of dynamical systems, an orbit is a collection of points related by the evolution function of the dynamical system. The orbit is a subset of the phase space and the set of all orbits is a partition of the phase space, that is different orbits do not intersect in the phase space. Understanding the properties of orbits by using topological method is one of the objectives of the modern theory of dynamical systems. For discretetime dynamical systems the orbits are sequences, for real dynamical systems the orbits are curves and for holomorphic dynamical systems the orbits are Riemann surfaces. Definition Diagram showing the periodic orbit of a massspring system in simple harmonic motion. (Here the velocity and position axes have been reversed from the standard convention in order to align the two diagrams)
where we define then the set is called orbit through x. An orbit which consists of a single point is called constant orbit. A nonconstant orbit is called closed or periodic if there exists a t in T so that for every point x on the orbit. Real dynamical system Given a real dynamical system (R, M, Φ), I(x) is an open interval in the real numbers, that is . For any x in M is called positive semiorbit through x and is called negative semiorbit through x. Discrete time dynamical system For discrete time dynamical system : forward orbit of x is a set :
backward orbit of x is a set :
and orbit of x is a set :
where : * , is an evolution function , which is here an iterated function,
*, is noted as ,
It is often the case that the evolution function can be understood to compose the elements of a group, in which case the grouptheoretic orbits of the group action are the same thing as the dynamical orbits. Examples Critical orbit of discrete dynamical system based on complex quadratic polynomial (*). It tends to weakly attracting fixed point with multiplier=0.99993612384259 * The orbit of an equilibrium point is a constant orbit
A basic classification of orbits is * constant orbits or fixed points An orbit can fail to be closed in two interesting ways. It could be an asymptotically periodic orbit if it converges to a periodic orbit. Such orbits are not closed because they never truly repeat, but they become arbitrarily close to a repeating orbit. An orbit can also be chaotic. These orbits come arbitrarily close to the initial point, but fail to ever converge to a periodic orbit. They exhibit sensitive dependence on initial conditions, meaning that small differences in the initial value will cause large differences in future points of the orbit. There are other properties of orbits that allow for different classifications. An orbit can be hyperbolic if nearby points approach or diverge from the orbit exponentially fast. See also * Wandering set
* Anatole Katok and Boris Hasselblatt (1996). Introduction to the modern theory of dynamical systems. Cambridge. ISBN 0521575575. Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/"

