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New Solutions to Three-Body Problem Discovered

Physicists at the Institute of Physics Belgrade have discovered 13 new families of solutions to the three-body problem that stumped Isaac Newton and captivated the likes of Lagrange and Euler.

To supplement the previously known three families of solutions, Milovan Šuvakov and Veljko Dmitrašinović used a computer simulation to tweak the initial conditions of an existing solution until a new type of orbit materialized. Dmitrašinović said

What we did was the most simple-minded thing that you could do. We were shocked when we discovered all these things, and we were even more shocked when we discovered that they had not been discovered before us.

The physicists found so many solutions that they devised a new classification system to organize them.

Read ScienceNOW's coverage or view the solutions online.

 
Id: 
1447
Start Date: 
Friday, March 29, 2013

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