The Three Body Problem is the mathematical problem of finding the positions and velocities of three massive bodies, which are interacting each other gravitationally, at any point in the future or the past, given their present positions, masses, and velocities. An example would be to completely solve the behavior of the Sun-Jupiter-Saturn system, or that of three mutually orbiting stars. It is a vastly more difficult exercise than the two-body problem. In fact, as Henri PoincarĂ© (1854-1912) and others showed, the three-body problem is impossible to solve in the general case; that is, given three bodies in a random configuration, the resulting motion nearly always turns out to be chaotic: no one can predict precisely what paths those bodies would follow.

Watch here: The Tree Body Problem animation

*Genetologic Research Nr. 6, 2003 (300cm x 300cm x 300cm)*

Maarten Vanden Eynde

Three wooden (oak) beams are manually bended by fire and water during a three week lasting ’torture-session’. After being liberated from the bending-machine, the beams stay in their forced position. The thee bodies are photographed in a certain way, but can change position without loosing their inter-relating balance. Various positions have been tried and just a few points of view bring them into a harmonious equilibrium. Any change or random elaboration creates chaos or disharmony.