If you have not already heard about solitons, you will sooner or later encounter them. The soliton, a solitary wave impulse preserving its shape and strikingly similar to a particle, is one of the most fascinating and beautiful phenomena in the physics of nonlinear waves. In this engaging book, the concept of the soliton is traced from the beginning of the last century to modern times, with recent applications in biology, oceanography, solid state physics, electronics, elementary particle physics, and cosmology. The main concepts and results of theoretical physics related to solitons can be explained without using much mathematics. Indeed, on the descriptive and historical level, only some knowledge of high school physics and mathematics is needed. At a higher level, for understanding the elementary theory of oscillations and waves, the reader can intuit much from the numerous illustrations and perhaps skip the formulas presented. But to appreciate the deep connections in this book between apparently different and diverse phenomena and ideas, the reader must be able to follow elementary mathematical computations. Still more advanced mathematics is required for the appendices.
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