# Re: The N-Body Problem

*From*: TheMonk <mariusmyburg@xxxxxxxxx>*Date*: 2 May 2007 07:20:22 -0700

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

TheMonk wrote:

Hi,

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.

.

**References**:**The N-Body Problem***From:*TheMonk

**Re: The N-Body Problem***From:*Bob Kolker

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