Tuesday, July 25, 2006

n-body orbits

Sean Carroll at Cosmic Variance points out some bizarro but valid orbits of multi-body gravitational systems mentioned at "This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics". Any system of more than two bodies is very difficult (or impossible?) to reduce to simple mathematical statements, although you can find occasional stable orbits of n-body systems. Cris Moore found some and Michael Nauenberg animated them.

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