Some problems in differential equations evolve towards Topology from an analytical origin. Two such problems will be discussed: the existence of solutions asymptotic to the equilibrium and the stability of closed orbits of Hamiltonian systems. The theory of retracts and the fixed point index have become useful tools in the study of these questions.

Given an orientation-preserving homeomorphism of the plane, a rotation number can be associated with each locally attracting fixed point. Assuming that the homeomorphism is dissipative
and the rotation number vanishes we prove the existence of a second fixed point. The main tools in the proof are Carath´eodory prime ends and fixed point index. The result is applicable to some
concrete problems in the theory of periodic differential equations.

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