This paper presents a new unified theory of orbits homoclinic to resonance bands in a class of near-integrable dissipative systems. It describes three sets of conditions, each of which implies the existence of homoclinic or heteroclinic orbits that connect equilibria or periodic orbits in a resonance band. These homoclinic and heteroclinic orbits are born under a given small dissipative perturbation out of a family of heteroclinic orbits that connect pairs of points on a circle of equilibria in the phase space of the nearby integrable system. The result is a constructive method that may be used to ascertain the existence of orbits homoclinic to objects in a resonance band, as well as to determine their precise shape, asymptotic behavior, and bifurcations in a given example. The method is a combination of the Melnikov method and geometric singular perturbation theory for ordinary differential equations.

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This work was partly supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through grant DE-FG02-93ER25154, and the National Science Foundation through grant DMS-9403750.

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