August  2003, 3(3): 313-342. doi: 10.3934/dcdsb.2003.3.313

Monte-Carlo and polyhedron-based simulations I: extremal states of the logarithmic N-body problem on a sphere


Department of Mathematical Sciences, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180, United States


Department of Computational Science, National University of Singapore


Department of Physics, National University of Singapore

Received  November 2002 Revised  February 2003 Published  May 2003

The problem of N bodies on the surface of the sphere interacting by a logarithmic potential is examined for selected N ranging from $4$ to $40,962$, comparing the energies found by placing points at the vertices of certain polyhedrons to the lowest energies found by a Monte Carlo algorithm. The polyhedron families are generated from simple polyhedrons through two triangular face splitting operations which are used iteratively to increase the number of vertices. The closest energy of these polyhedron vertex configurations to the Monte Carlo-generated minimum energy is identified and the two energies are found to agree well. Finally the energy per particle pair is found to asymptotically approach a mean field theory limit of $- 1/2 (log(2) - 1)$, approximately $0.153426$, for both the polyhedron and the Monte Carlo-generated energies. The deterministic algorithm of generating polyhedrons is shown to be a method able to generate consistently good approximations to the extremal energy configuration for a wide range of numbers of points.
Citation: Chjan C. Lim, Joseph Nebus, Syed M. Assad. Monte-Carlo and polyhedron-based simulations I: extremal states of the logarithmic N-body problem on a sphere. Discrete & Continuous Dynamical Systems - B, 2003, 3 (3) : 313-342. doi: 10.3934/dcdsb.2003.3.313

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