n-body problem

(redirected from The three body problem)

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.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006

n-body problem

[′en ¦bad·ē ‚präb·ləm]
(mechanics)
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Poincare's paper on the three body problem did not provide a solution.
(22) June Barrow-Green, Poincare and the Three Body Problem, Providence, American Mathematical Society, 097.