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Similar masses gravitating stably together

  1. Oct 13, 2011 #1
    What is the greatest number N of equivalent masses M which can mutually gravitate over time within a radius R?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 14, 2011 #2

    HallsofIvy

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    "Mutually gravitate over time with radius R"? Do you mean stably move in a circular orbit (about their common center of mass) with radius R?
     
  4. Oct 14, 2011 #3
    As an example, consider the N-body problem where N>2, M=M0=constant, and R is a function of N (and possibly M0). The orbits are not circular, but might be confined "stably" to a distance R from the center of mass.

    N>2 equal masses co-orbit perpetually within what minimum limit R(N)?
     
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