Global Behavior of the Charged Isosceles Three-Body Problem

Atela, P.; McLachlan, R.I.

International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos 04(04): 865-884


ISSN/ISBN: 0218-1274
Accession: 084304053

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We study the global bifurcation diagram of the two-parameter family of ODE's that govern the charged isosceles three-body problem. (The classic isosceles three-body problem and the anisotropic Kepler problem (two bodies) are included in the same family.) There are two major sources of periodic orbits. On the one hand the "Kepler" orbit, a stable orbit exhibiting the generic bifurcations as the multiplier crosses rational values. This orbit turns out to be the continuation of the classical circular Kepler orbit. On the other extreme we have the collision-ejection orbit which exhibits an "infinite-furcation." Up to a limiting value of the parameter we have finitely many periodic orbits (for each fixed numerator in the rotation number), passed this value there is a sudden birth of an infinite number of them. We find that these two bifurcations are remarkably connected forming the main "skeleton" of the global bifurcation diagram. We conjecture that this type of global connection must be present in related problems such as the classic isosceles three-body problem and the anisotropic Kepler problem.