Gravitational N-Body
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This project's goal was to analyze semistable planetary orbits in and around a binary star system. This gave me an excuse to write a general N-Body simulator in a Java Applet. The binary star evolution is solved for analytically by inverting the eccentric anomaly equation with values based on the Alphi-Centari binary star system. All other objects are assumed to have much smaller mass (since they don't affect the evolution of the stars) and are evolved with a Runge-Kutta iteration.

In the paper linked bleow, I derive a planetary orbit's radial stability requirement within the Alpha-Centari binary star system of approximately 2AU, which is supported by other works as cited.

See the final paper written on this project here.

I never liked the general Java Applet because of the awkward interface. I based the interface on the very successful one I made for the Thomson Problem, but since an N-Body simulator has much more freedom, it was not very successful. Instead, I recently had my first foray into OpenGL and decided to adapt the applet I made for this project into a simple screen saver.

A Window's screen saver version can be downloaded here. Copy this into C:\WINDOWS\system32\ and select it via Control Panel -> Display -> Screen Saver. The screen saver setting may also be tuned after selecting it.

I also have Mac and Linux versions, but these are much more difficult to install...