Re: The N-Body Problem

On May 2, 3:34 pm, Bob Kolker <nowh...@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
TheMonk wrote:

I am currently reading John Gribbin's "Deep Simplicity" and in it he
seems to state that the N-Body problem is unsolvable; that it is not
possible to find a solution to the N-body problem (where N is 3 or
more). He writes that the N-body problem is not a deterministic
system, and he even goes as far as mentioning that this might have
some implications for the notion of free will etc.

Not true. There are no closed form solutions to the general N-body
problem for N > 2, but the motions can be worked out to arbitrary
precision using iterative methods. That is how we can fly interplanetary
probes with good accuracy.

Bob Kolker

Can you please explain 'closed form solutions'? I have only grade 12
mathematics and I am currently teaching myself what school should have
taught me.