The Chirikov criterion or Chirikov resonance-overlap criterion was established by the Russian physicist Boris Chirikov. Back in 1959, he published a seminal article, where he introduced the very first physical criterion for the onset of chaotic motion in deterministic Hamiltonian systems. He then applied such a criterion to explain puzzling experimental results on plasma confinement in magnetic bottles obtained by Rodionov at the Kurchatov Institute.
According to this criterion a deterministic trajectory will begin to move between two nonlinear resonances in a chaotic and unpredictable manner, in the parameter range
Here is the perturbation parameter, while is the resonance-overlap parameter, given by the ratio of the unperturbed resonance width in frequency (often computed in the pendulum approximation and proportional to the square-root of perturbation), and the frequency difference between two unperturbed resonances. Since its introduction, the Chirikov criterion has become an important analytical tool for the determination of the chaos border.
- B.V.Chirikov, "Research concerning the theory of nonlinear resonance and stochasticity", Preprint N 267, Institute of Nuclear Physics, Novosibirsk (1969), (Engl. Trans., CERN Trans. 71-40 (1971))
- B.V.Chirikov, "A universal instability of many-dimensional oscillator systems", Phys. Rep. 52: 263 (1979)
- A.J.Lichtenberg and M.A.Lieberman (1992). Regular and Chaotic Dynamics. Springer, Berlin. ISBN 978-0-387-97745-4. Springer link