Institute for Mathematical Sciences

Preprint ims06-01

A. Bonifant, M. Dabija, J. Milnor
Elliptic curves as attractors in P^2, Part 1: dynamics

Abstract: A study of rational maps of the real or complex projective plane of degree two or more, concentrating on those which map an elliptic curve onto itself, necessarily by an expanding map. We describe relatively simple examples with a rich variety of exotic dynamical behaviors which are perhaps familiar to the applied dynamics community but not to specialists in several complex variables. For example, we describe smooth attractors with riddled or intermingled attracting basins, and we observe ``blowout'' bifurcations when the transverse Lyapunov exponent for the invariant curve changes sign. In the complex case, the elliptic curve (a topological torus) can never have a trapping neighborhood, yet it can have an attracting basin of large measure (perhaps even of full measure). We also describe examples where there appear to be Herman rings (that is topological cylinders mapped to themselves with irrational rotation number) with open attracting basin. In some cases we provide proofs, but in other cases the discussion is empirical, based on numerical computation.
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