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
> 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.