from the mystical-spheres dept.
sciencehabit writes "It's the sort of abstract puzzle that keeps a scientist awake at night: Can you predict how three objects will orbit each other in a repeating pattern? In the 300 years since this 'three-body problem' was first recognized, just three families of solutions have been found. Now, two physicists have discovered 13 new families. It's quite a feat in mathematical physics, and it could conceivably help astrophysicists understand new planetary systems."
The paper is available at arxiv.
"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish
it wasn't this one."
-- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN