Apr 25, 2021

New Theory Addresses Centuries-Old Physics Problem

Posted by in categories: mathematics, physics, space

Hebrew University Researcher Introduces New Approach to Three-Body Problem, Predicts its Outcome Statistics.

The “three-body problem,” the term coined for predicting the motion of three gravitating bodies in space, is essential for understanding a variety of astrophysical processes as well as a large class of mechanical problems, and has occupied some of the world’s best physicists, astronomers and mathematicians for over three centuries. Their attempts have led to the discovery of several important fields of science; yet its solution remained a mystery.

At the end of the 17th century, Sir Isaac Newton succeeded in explaining the motion of the planets around the sun through a law of universal gravitation. He also sought to explain the motion of the moon. Since both the earth and the sun determine the motion of the moon, Newton became interested in the problem of predicting the motion of three bodies moving in space under the influence of their mutual gravitational attraction (see illustration to the right), a problem that later became known as “the three-body problem.”

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