Roy Hadfield


The // Body Problem, read as slash-slash, is the study of the gravitational interaction of two massive line segments, or slashes. This problem has been previously explored for the scenario when the universe is restricted to two dimensions with the slashes laying in the plane. The potential energy of this system contains a term which becomes 0/0 when the slashes are parallel, a numerical instability which would need to be evaluated analytically using L’Hôpital’s Rule. Handling this instability was previously accomplished by extending the numerical precision using software and switching to a second potential term whenever the slashes were parallel. However, through the implementation of CVODE, a differential equation solver, these steps are no longer needed. Instead the Jacobian is found by taking partial derivatives of the equations of motion and supplied to CVODE for implicit integration. A GUI application was created to animate the system and allow user interaction.