The three-body problem is a classic problem in physics and applied mathematics and concerns determining the motions of three bodies who each mutually influence the motion of the other two through the force of gravity. As simple as the problem may initially appear to be, with only 3 bodies and 1 type of force, Newton, Kepler, and hosts of other great physicists and mathematicians interested in the motion of celestial bodies could not crack this problem and restricted themselves to the simpler case of two bodies. It wasn’t until 1887 that Poincare, as part of a contest proposed by the King of Sweden, finally showed that there is no analytical solution to the general three-body problem. So what makes things so much more chaotic by adding one more body to the equation? In this presentation, we will explore this problem and why it is so much more complex than meets the eye

Kean Johansen, ’19

Ngoc Nguyen

Minneapolis, MN

Mathematics & Statistics

Sponsor: Tyler Skorczewski