## Extern

We formalize and analyze the notions of monotonicity and complete monotonicity for Markov Chains in continuous-time, taking values in a finite partially ordered set. Similarly to what happens in discrete-time, the two notions are not equivalent. However, we show that there are partially ordered sets for which monotonicity and complete monotonicity coincide in continuoustime but not in discrete-time.

We consider a system of infinitely many hard balls in R<sup>d undergoing Brownian motions and submitted to a smooth pair potential. It is modelized by an infinite-dimensional stochastic differential equation with a local time term. We prove that the set of all equilibrium measures, solution of a detailed balance equation, coincides with the set of canonical Gibbs measures associated to the hard core potential added to the smooth interaction potential.

We investigate numerically the appearance of heteroclinic behavior in a three-dimensional, buoyancy-driven fluid layer with stress-free top and bottom boundaries, a square horizontal periodicity with a small aspect ratio, and rotation at low to moderate rates about a vertical axis. The Prandtl number is 6.8. If the rotation is not too slow, the skewed-varicose instability leads from stationary rolls to a stationary mixed-mode solution, which in turn loses stability to a heteroclinic cycle formed by unstable roll states and connections between them. The unstable eigenvectors of these roll states are also of the skewed-varicose or mixed-mode type and in some parameter regions skewed-varicose like shearing oscillations as well as square patterns are involved in the cycle. Always present weak noise leads to irregular horizontal translations of the convection pattern and makes the dynamics chaotic, which is verified by calculating Lyapunov exponents. In the nonrotating case, the primary rolls lose, depending on the aspect ratio, stability to traveling waves or a stationary square pattern. We also study the symmetries of the solutions at the intermittent fixed points in the heteroclinic cycle.

A numerical bifurcation analysis of the electrically driven plane sheet pinch is presented. The electrical conductivity varies across the sheet such as to allow instability of the quiescent basic state at some critical Hartmann number. The most unstable perturbation is the two-dimensional tearing mode. Restricting the whole problem to two spatial dimensions, this mode is followed up to a time-asymptotic steady state, which proves to be sensitive to three-dimensional perturbations even close to the point where the primary instability sets in. A comprehensive three-dimensional stability analysis of the two-dimensional steady tearing-mode state is performed by varying parameters of the sheet pinch. The instability with respect to three-dimensional perturbations is suppressed by a sufficiently strong magnetic field in the invariant direction of the equilibrium. For a special choice of the system parameters, the unstably perturbed state is followed up in its nonlinear evolution and is found to approach a three-dimensional steady state.

The Voyager 2 Photopolarimeter experiment has yielded the highest resolved data of Saturn's rings, exhibiting a wide variety of features. The B-ring region between 105000 km and 110000 km distance from Saturn has been investigated. It has a high matter density and contains no significance features visible by eye. Analysis with statistical methods has let us to the detection of two significant events. These features are correlated with the inner 3:2 resonances of the F-ring shepherd satellites Pandora and Prometheus, and may be evidence of large ring paricles caught in the corotation resonances.

We have used techniques of nonlinear dynamics to compare a special model for the reversals of the Earth's magnetic field with the observational data. Although this model is rather simple, there is no essential difference to the data by means of well-known characteristics, such as correlation function and probability distribution. Applying methods of symbolic dynamics we have found that the considered model is not able to describe the dynamical properties of the observed process. These significant differences are expressed by algorithmic complexity and Renyi information.

In the modern industrialized countries every year several hundred thousands of people die due to the sudden cardiac death. The individual risk for this sudden cardiac death cannot be defined precisely by common available, non-invasive diagnostic tools like Holter-monitoring, highly amplified ECG and traditional linear analysis of heart rate variability (HRV). Therefore, we apply some rather unconventional methods of nonlinear dynamics to analyse the HRV. Especially, some complexity measures that are basing on symbolic dynamics as well as a new measure, the renormalized entropy, detect some abnormalities in the HRV of several patients who have been classified in the low risk group by traditional methods. A combination of these complexity measures with the parameters in the frequency domain seems to be a promising way to get a more precise definition of the individual risk. These findings have to be validated by a representative number of patients.