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August 13, 2008

Rock steady

srikanth @ 9:09 pm, GMT +0000 ( 1218661745 ) Play

Been a long time since we had a very deep connect, so here goes.

The mathematician/astronomer (1) solved an age old problem in classical mechanics (X) in an interesting way. He predicted a quirky side-effect of this (Y) that was only confirmed many years later in the interactions between (2) and the groups represented by (3) and (4).

Identify 1, 2, X, Y and the groups represented by 3 and 4.

Cracked by vijayaraghavan , udupendra , Chandrakant Nair , joe , akhi , Prasad , Atul Mathew , Dibyo , varuns88 , Rohan and ludwig. Glad many of you liked the question, too :-)


Joseph Lagrange (1) was studying the N-body problem (X) and attempted a solution using a new technique. He predicted that, as a side-effect, it was possible to have points that are stationary to all the bodies under consideration. These were named Lagrange Points (Y)

This speculation was not confirmed until about a 100 years after his theory, when it was discovered that there were two clumps of asteroids in Jupiter’s (2) orbit that were relatively stationary. These clumps turned out to be situated at the Lagrange points. Astronomers started naming these two clumps after characters in the Trojan war, namely Greeks (3) and Trojans (4).

11 Responses to “Rock steady”

  1. vijayaraghavan

    1- lagrange
    2- jupiter
    3- greek camp
    4-trojan camp
    x- three body problem
    y- lagrangian points

  2. udupendra

    Beautiful, beautiful question!

    1 – Lagrange
    2 – Jupiter
    3 and 4 – the Trojan and Greek ‘camps’ of the Trojan asteroids of Jupiter
    X – Three-body problem
    Y – Lagrangian points of stability

  3. Chandrakant Nair

    1 —> Joseph Louis Lagrange
    2 —> Jupiter
    3 —> Trojans/Trojan Asteroids(Greek camp)
    4 —> Greeks /Trojan Asteroids(Trojan camp)

    X —> Three Body Problem
    Y —> Lagrangian Points

  4. joe

    1)Joseph-Louis Lagrange
    3)Trojan asteroids
    4)I’m guessing the ‘Greek camp’

    Y Lagrangian point X: three-body problem

  5. akhi

    2.Zeus ?

    X. three body problem
    Y.not sure.. The discovery of lagrangian points?

  6. Prasad

    1 is Lagrange.
    2 is Neptune, the Roman god after whom the planet is named.
    X is the 3 body motion problem, which is coming up with a time-equation which gives the position of any 3 bodies whose motions are governed by the others based on Newtonian mechanics.
    Y are the Trojan asteroids, which go around Neptune, the planet.
    Legrange predicted the existence of bodies in Jupiter’s Lagrangian points.
    3 (and 4 i’m guessing) represent the different groups of asteroids which are named after characters from Homer’s Illiad, viz. Greek and Trojan groups.
    What exactly is 4?? Hilda’s family?

  7. 1-Lagrange
    3,4-Trojans and the Greeks

    X- n-body problem
    Y-Lagrangian Points

  8. Dibyo

    1. Joseph Lagrange
    2. Jupiter
    3. Trojan Camp
    4. Greek Camp

    X. many-body problem
    Y: three-body problem/Lagrangian point

    …or some such combination thereof.

  9. varuns88

    1.Joseph-Louis Lagrange
    3 & 4.Trojan asteroids(Trojan Camp & Greek camp)
    X.3-body problem
    y.Hypothesis of Lagrangian Points

  10. Rohan

    1- Lagrange
    X- three body problem
    Y- lagrangian points
    3- Trojans (referring to trojan asteroids)
    4- Greek warriors.. funda explained below

    In 1772 the French mathematician and astronomer Joseph-Louis Lagrange predicted the existence and location of two groups of small bodies located near a pair of gravitationally stable points along Jupiter’s orbit. These are positions (now called Lagrangian points

    In 1906 the first of the predicted objects, (588) Achilles, was discovered near the Lagrangian point preceding Jupiter in its orbit. Within a year two more were found: (617) Patroclus, located near the trailing Lagrangian point, and (624) Hektor, near the leading Lagrangian point. It was later decided to continue naming such asteroids after participants in the Trojan War as recounted in Homer’s epic work the Iliad and, furthermore, to name those near the leading point after Greek warriors and those near the trailing point after Trojan warriors. With the exception of the two “misplaced” names already bestowed (Hektor, the lone Trojan in the Greek camp, and Patroclus, the lone Greek in the Trojan camp), this tradition has been maintained.

  11. Nice question. Half-assed attempt mit Google, having correctly guessed the problem X.

    1. Lagrange
    2. Jupiter
    X. Three-body problem
    Y. Errr.. The Trojans and Greeks appear stationary in respect of Jupiter and the Sun since they happen to be at the Lagrange points for the the Jupiter-Sun system?
    3. Trojan asteroids
    4. Greek asteroids

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