This book presents an exposition of recently discovered, unusual properties of difference equations. Even in the simplest scalar case, nonlinear difference equations have been proved to exhibit surprisingly varied and qualitatively different solutions. The latter can readily be applied to the modelling of complex oscillations and the description of the process of fractal growth and the resulting fractal structures. Difference equations give an elegant description of transitions to chaos and, furthermore, provide useful information on reconstruction inside chaos. In numerous simulations of relaxation and turbulence phenomena the difference equation description is therefore preferred to the traditional differential equation-based modelling. This monograph consists of four parts. The first part deals with one-dimensional dynamical systems, the second part treats nonlinear scalar difference equations of continuous argument. Parts three and four describe relevant applications in the theory of difference-differential equations and in the nonlinear boundary problems formulated for hyperbolic systems of partial differential equations. The book is intended not only for mathematicians but also for those interested in mathematical applications and computer simulations of nonlinear effects in physics, chemistry, biology and other fields.
' I enjoyed reading this book, and i am happy to recommend it to all those interested in finding out more about this fascinating but rather unfamiliar branch of dynamical systems.' Bulletin London Math. Soc. 27 1995