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Fascinating orbits of three bodies

Peter Musgrave

April 22, 2016

Fascinating orbits of three bodies

I have been weirdly obsessed with the problem of three bodies and their mutual gravitational attraction. This is a puzzle that goes all the way back to Newton. Many great mathematicians explored it (Euler, Lagrange, Poincarre to name a few) and it continues to be an area of active research.

In the last several decades a number of new solutions have been found, including a beautiful figure eight solution. As a way of exploring these I have created an app "ThreeBody Lite" to allow an exploration of these solutions and the ability to create new ones. It is available on iOS and Android.

If you wish to explore the weird instabilities in the gravity of three bodies - give it a try!

Further musings on the the app and some details about it's implementation can be found at nbodyphysics.com

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