Paul Painlevé and His Contribution to Science
Regular and Chaotic Dynamics, 2014, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 1-19
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The life and career of the great French mathematician and politician Paul Painlevé is described. His contribution to the analytical theory of nonlinear differential equations was significant. The paper outlines the achievements of Paul Painlevé and his students in the investigation of an interesting class of nonlinear second-order equations and new equations defining a completely new class of special functions, now called the Painlevé transcendents. The contribution of Paul Painlevé to the study of algebraic nonintegrability of the $N$-body problem, his remarkable observations in mechanics, in particular, paradoxes arising in the dynamics of systems with friction, his attempt to create the axiomatics of mechanics and his contribution to gravitation theory are discussed.