Chaos Dynamics in Rotation of the Small Moons of Pluto

Alex Gould


We examine the influence that a binary gravitational source has on the rotation of a non-spherical object around it. This is modeled using a pair of masses connected by a rigid massless rod, and then is simulated on a computer using the CVODE differential integrator. The two dimensional simulations, which lock all movement to a plane produce dynamics which are unique and distinct from that which a singular gravitational source would produce. In three dimensions, however, the simulation crashes do to numerical errors which result in extreme unphysical divergence, and non-constant energy.