Title: Triple collision in the Newtonian 3-body problem
Speaker: Professor T. Young
Speaker Info: Northwestern U.
Consider a system of n ideal point masses interacting under mutual gravitation with the assumptions of Newtonian mechanics. It has historically been a central question of classical mechanics to describe the trajectories of such systems. A particular trajectory is called a triple collision if as time approaches T three of the masses approach the same position. Recently, it has been shown that triple collisions and nearby orbits play a crucial role in the qualitative description of trajectories. For instance, an understanding of the triple collision in the isosceles 3-body problem played a key role in Xia's proof of the existence of solutions of the 5-body problem which blowup in finite time.Date: Friday, May 30, 1997
In this talk we attempt to survey the historical development of the study of collision trajectories and the consequences for the n-body problem. We will then discuss analysis in progress (including numerics) of the fully planar triple collision and discuss some of the possible implications.