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Paper: Zdeněk Kopal: Numerical Analyst
Volume: 496, Living Together: Planets, Host Stars and Binaries
Page: 19
Authors: Křižek, M.
Abstract: We give a brief overview of Zdeněk Kopal's life, his activities in the Czech Astronomical Society, his collaboration with Vladimí r Vand, and his studies at Charles University, Cambridge, Harvard, and MIT. Then we survey Kopal's professional life. He published 26 monographs and 20 conference proceedings. We will concentrate on Kopal's extensive monograph Numerical Analysis (1955, 1961) that is widely accepted to be the first comprehensive textbook on numerical methods. It describes, for instance, methods for polynomial interpolation, numerical differentiation and integration, numerical solution of ordinary differential equations with initial or boundary conditions, and numerical solution of integral and integro-differential equations. Special emphasis will be laid on error analysis. Kopal himself applied numerical methods to celestial mechanics, in particular to the N-body problem. He also used Fourier analysis to investigate light curves of close binaries to discover their properties. This is, in fact, a problem from mathematical analysis.
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