From falling cats to the N-body problem
Vortragender: Richard Montgomery, UC Santa Cruz
Einladender: Andreas Knauf
I will trace my own trajectory in mathematics and physics from gauge theory to
the N-body problem by way of the Falling Cat.
My first papers were on the motion of an allegedly classical particle moving in
a Yang-Mills field. While at MIT Jair Koiller showed me the work of Alfred
Shapere and Frank Wilczeck which induced me to understand the problem faced by a
falling cat as a problem in gauge theory.
This led to problems in re-orienting robots and control theory which led me to
subRiemannian geometry and trying to understand what ended up being a false
`theorem‘ regarding subRiemannian minimizers.
I kept up on the cat, simplifying it until the cat became three mass points and
found myself working on the three-body problem. This last has dominated my work
these last 20 years.