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A high order perturbation analysis of the Sitnikov problem

J Hagel
C Lhotka
Journal / Anthology

Year: 2005
Volume: 93
Issue: 1-4
Page range: 201-228

The Sitnikov problem is one of the most simple cases of the elliptic restricted three body system. A massless body oscillates along a line (z) perpendicular to a plane (x, y) in which two equally massive bodies, called primary masses, perform Keplerian orbits around their common barycentre with a given eccentricity e. The crossing point of the line of motion of the third mass with the plane is equal to the centre of gravity of the entire system. in spite of its simple geometrical structure, the system is nonlinear and explicitly time dependent. It is globally non integrable and therefore represents an interesting application for advanced perturbative methods. In the present work a high order perturbation approach to the problem was performed, by using symbolic algorithms written in Mathematica. Floquet theory was used to derive solutions of the linearized equation up to 17th order in e. In this way precise analytical expressions for the stability of the system were obtained. Then, applying the Courant and Snyder transformation to the nonlinear equation, algebraic solutions of seventh order in z and e were derived using the method of Poincare-Lindstedt. The enormous amount of necessary computations were performed by extensive use of symbolic programming. We developed automated and highly modularized algorithms in order to master the problem of ordering an increasing number of algebraic terms originating from high order perturbation theory.

*Mathematics > Calculus and Analysis > Differential Equations

perturbation theory, Sitnikov problem, Courand and Snyder transformation, Poincaré-Lindstedt method