n-body problem

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n-body problem

Any problem in celestial mechanics that involves the determination of the trajectories of n point masses whose only interaction is gravitational attraction. The bodies in the Solar System are an example if it is assumed that the masses of the planets, etc., are concentrated at their centers of mass. A general solution exists for the two-body problem and in special cases a solution can be found for the three-body problem. The complete solution for a larger number is normally considered impossible.

n-body problem

[′en ¦bad·ē ‚präb·ləm]
(mechanics)
References in periodicals archive ?
When this Earth-Moon-Sun system occurs with the perigee side of the moon facing us, and the moon happens to be on the opposite side of Earth from the sun, we get what's called a perigee-syzygy.
The Earth continuously receives 3,700 billion watts of power through the transfer of the gravitational and rotational energy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system, and over 1,000 billion watts is thought to be available to bring about this type of motion in the outer core.
The tides are generated by gravitational influences of the Earth-Moon-Sun system, whose astronomical relationship and orbital details can be predicted.
The study of the Earth-Moon-Sun system is very important and interesting.