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Questions tagged [three-body-problem]

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Large mass body on Lagrange point L4/5

Lagrange points L4 and L5 are stable for a test particle. But what happens if instead the body at L4/5 (let's call it C) has a mass significant enough that its gravitational pull on the other two (let'...
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How do computers “solve” the three-body-problem?

I've done a bit of research, and have learned that computers "solve" the three-body-problem by using "Numerical methods for ordinary differential equations", but I can't really find anything about it ...
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Why can't we humans solve the three-body-problem? and why can computers solve it?

Why is it that we humans can't solve the three-body-problem? (calculate the positions of the 3 bodies in a dynamical system) And why can computers do it? My thoughts: Computers do it in way smaller ...
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Restricted 3-body problem - Rotating coordinate system

I'm trying to follow the formulation of the restricted 3-body problem in Taff's "Celestial Mechanics" book as I'm writing an essay on Lagrange points and am confused by the transformation into the ...
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1answer
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Can a planet have multiple significant sized moons?

The Earth has one moon at about 1/80 of Earth's mass. Is it possible to have two moons large enough each to subtend a >30 minute disk as viewed from the surface? I have tried with various ...
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1answer
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Is there still scientific research to be done on the Three-body problem (on a relativistic point of view for example)?

Good evening everyone, since Poincaré demonstrated that there are no exact solutions to the Three-body problem, many scientists have developed techniques to approximate these solutions. The Newtonian ...
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Are there aspects of General Relativity that have yet to be tested?

Good evening everyone, I am new in the field of General Relativity and I have been reading and learning about the subject in recent months. For example, I read several articles about experiments ...
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If the 3-Body force problem hasn't been solved, how do rocket scientists plan orbits of spacecraft?

What methods would they use to predict what would happen in a situation when a probe is being acted upon by the gravity of two stars, say?
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3answers
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Equation of Motion For a Specific Gravitation Question: Is harmonic motion involved? If yes/no, how and why?

This is a question that I have thought about myself, but I'm struggling a bit regarding how to answer it. This is my question: Imagine we have a universe with 3 bodies. Out of these 3, 2 are ...
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Can planets orbiting a binary star trace out an orbit in the form of an 8 (or $\infty$-sign)? [duplicate]

In this article there is a lot explained about planets orbiting a binary star. It is said that a planet orbits the binary star around the CM of both stars. I couldn't find anything about planetary ...
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1answer
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Can three bodies be collinear all the time under the influence of gravity?

if a spacecraft is set into orbit around a binary star system such that it is collinear with the two stars. if the distance of the spacecraft from each of the stars is $R$ and $r$ then what will be ...
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“Global” orientation of an inclined orbital plane

I'm pretty much trying to figure out, whether an inclined orbital plane rotates with its parent or not. To make my problem understandable an equivalent question would be, whether the longitude of ...
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Multiple star system, stable orbits?

Inspired by worldbuilding SE, I know that there are relatively stable star systems with two or three suns, but any more than that and they start to become very unstable (e.g. trapezium systems), but I'...
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1answer
392 views

Is my method here for solving this 1D 3-body collision problem correct?

I was attempting to solve a three body problem which I made up that goes like this: The diagram shows their velocities and masses just before collision. The coefficient of restitution between each ...
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0answers
324 views

Proof of unsolvability of $n$-body problem for $n\geqslant 3$ in general

We know there are general solutions for 1-body problem and 2-body problem and also we know in some "special cases" there are some possible solutions for $n$-body problem for $n \geqslant 3$ and there ...
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1answer
95 views

Stability of the classical helium atom

Let us forget about quantum mechanics and confine ourselves to classical mechanics. The Hamiltonian for a classical helium atom would be $$ H = \frac{p_1^2 + p_2^2}{2m } - \frac{Z}{r_1} - \frac{Z}{...
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Could the Earth-Moon rotation period equal one Earth year?

I just stumbled on this rather confused QA. The point seems to be if the Earth-Moon rotation period was identical to the Earth-year, then ... ... all three would stay in a line at all times. Could ...
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three body problem in quantum mechanics

Usually a two body nuclear problem is exactly solvable through quantum mechanics e.g. the deuteron nucleus having two particles a neutron and proton. As one goes over to three particle systems, say a ...
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Find the velocity of three planets about their centre of mass

Just wanted to check if I've done this right, because it isn't working. Mercury: mass $$3.285 \times 10^23\ \mathrm{kg}$$ position: $57,910,000,000\ \mathrm{m}$ from sun Earth: mass $$5.972 \times ...
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3-body system centre of mass

I have a three body system of point masses that represent mercury, earth and the sun. I want them to orbit about a common centre of mass, but I think the centre of mass will move. I need the centre of ...
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1answer
960 views

Solving the Three-body problem numerically

I want to create a program in $Mathematica$ that solves numerically the Three-body problem by Euler-Lagrange's equations. I was searching some methods to sucessfully do it. So I found a way to solve ...
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2answers
540 views

Would a planet in a binary star system follow Kepler's Laws?

I'm thinking it would not. I am thinking Kepler's Laws were a simplification that were possible with a simple two body (sun, planet) but would not apply for something more complex (sun1, sun2, planet)...
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Reduced Three-body problem

I know that three-body problem in celestial mechanics can't be solved analytically in general. But suppose that the 3rd body is much smaller than the others, so it does not perturb their orbits. This ...
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Making new sense of the three-body problem in the light of Maryam Mirzakhani math contributions

I am unfamiliar with moduli spaces and ergodic theory which appear to be essential in Maryam Mirzakhani's math contributions which won her the Fields Medal. However, I am well conversant in essential ...
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278 views

Story about a mathematician, a dinner party, and the three-body problem

I remember dimly hearing a story, coincidentally also at a dinner party, and I was trying recently to track the details down with no success. I was hoping someone here might have also heard this story ...
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Multiple planets orbiting a star

One way of detecting exoplanets orbiting around a star is the Radial velocity method. Can this be used to detect multiple planets? Wouldn't the star orbit the center of mass of the whole system with ...
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A question about the numerical simulation on classical three-body gravitional system

Related to this post Just out of curiosity, I have a question about the current status of classical (Newtonian) three-body gravitional numerical simulation. I found wikipedia is relatively limited on ...
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1answer
554 views

Three body force

Reading on wikipedia about Faddeev equations, I've come across the notion of three-body force. The article which describes this type of force doesn't give me any understanding what it is about. My ...
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1answer
258 views

The circumference of the Moon's orbit around the sun?

I know that it orbits the sun in what looks like a 12 sided polygon with rounded corners. But I can't seem to find the radius/circumference anywhere.
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Can we infer the existence of periodic solutions to the three-body problem from numerical evidence?

I recently found out about the discovery of 13 beautiful periodic solutions to the three-body problem, described in the paper Three Classes of Newtonian Three-Body Planar Periodic Orbits. Milovan ...
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1answer
313 views

Binary star system - Revolution around Primary vs Companion

How likely is it in a binary or multi-star system for a non-star celestial body to revolve around the primary star rather than the companion star?
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184 views

Formulation of the Three-Body Newtonian problem

I am trying to understand three body problem in Newtonian space. I want to make formulation of differential equations for known initial conditions for the case with: Identical three masses Periodic ...
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Might a planet perform figure-8 orbits around two stars?

Might a planet perform figure-8 orbits around two stars? I'm thinking that if the two stars were equal mass (and not orbiting each other) then a planet that were to go right between them would ...
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The Impossibility ( or Possibility) of Solving $N$-Body Problem

One can obtain the solution to a $2$-Body problem analytically. However, I understand that obtaining a general solution to a $N$-body problem is impossible. Is there a proof somewhere that shows this ...