TY - EJOU
AU - Scheeres, D.J.
TI - Stable and Minimum Energy Configurations in the Spherical, Equal Mass Full 4-Body Problem
T2 - Computer Modeling in Engineering \& Sciences
PY - 2016
VL - 111
IS - 3
SN - 1526-1506
AB - The minimum energy and stable configurations in the spherical, equal mass full 4-body problem are investigated. This problem is defined as the dynamics of finite density spheres which interact gravitationally and through surface contact forces. This is a variation of the gravitational n-body problem in which the bodies are not allowed to come arbitrarily close to each other (due to their finite density), enabling the existence of resting configurations in addition to orbital motion. Previous work on this problem has outlined an efficient and simple way in which the stability of configurations in this problem can be defined. This methodology is applied to the 4-body problem, where we find multiple resting equilibrium configurations and outline the stability of a number of these. The study of these configurations is important for understanding the mechanics and morphological properties of small rubble pile asteroids. These results can also be generalized to other configurations of bodies that interact via field potentials and surface contact forces.
KW - Celestial Mechanics
KW - N-body problem
DO - 10.3970/cmes.2016.111.203