The Bertrand theorem revisited

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18 Scopus citations


The Bertrand theorem, which states that the only power-law central potentials for which the bounded trajectories are closed are 1/r2 and r2, is analyzed using the Poincaré-Lindstedt perturbation method. This perturbation method does not generate secular terms and correctly incorporates the effect of nonlinearities on the nature of periodic solutions. The requirement that the orbits be closed implies that the theorem holds in each order of the expansion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-449
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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