Date: Mar 12, 2013 11:17 AM
Author: Sam Wormley
Subject: Physicists Discover a Whopping 13 New Solutions to Three-Body Problem
Physicists Discover a Whopping 13 New Solutions to Three-Body Problem

> http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2013/03/physicists-discover-a-whopping.html?ref=hp

> It's the sort of abstract puzzle that keeps a scientist awake at

> night: Can you predict how three objects will orbit each other in a

> repeating pattern? In the 300 years since this "three-body problem"

> was first recognized, just three families of solutions have been

> found. Now, two physicists have discovered 13 new families. It's

> quite a feat in mathematical physics, and it could conceivably help

> astrophysicists understand new planetary systems.

>

> The trove of new solutions has researchers jazzed. "I love these

> things," says Robert Vanderbei a mathematician at Princeton

> University who was not involved in the work. He says he, in fact,

> spent all night thinking about the work.