Celestial Mechanics

As part of the Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013 initiative, PIMS, along with BIRS, CIRM, CRM, Fields, the Institut Henri PoincarĂ©, and SIMCA, are sponsoring a focus period on Celestial Mechanics.

Celestial mechanics is an object of study and inspiration for mathematicians and astronomers. It led to the development of new branches of mathematics, such as chaos theory and algebraic topology. More recent achievements include a deeper understanding of our solar system, of the resonances at the origin of the chaotic behaviour of celestial bodies, in particular the chaotic motions of the inner planets and the potential collisions between planets and asteroids or comets, the study of the variations of the orbit of the Earth and of its obliquity in relation with its climate and glaciations over history, and the role of the Moon in stabilizing the obliquity of the Earth. It also includes successfully sending people to the Moon, building the International Space Station, observing the universe with the Hubble telescope, and launching missions towards the depths of our planetary system. Celestial mechanics and techniques of the N-body problem have also helped with the development of the semiclassical theory of atomic and molecular systems with applications towards understanding the dynamics of atoms and molecules, Coulomb systems and the spectra of atoms.

The focus period will comprise several workshops, an international conference, public lectures, a summer school, and other events through 2013 in celestial mechanics and its related fields in order to support several highly dynamic scientific research areas.

It is being organized by

Alessandra Celletti (Roma Tor Vergata),
Walter Craig (McMaster),
Florin Diacu (Victoria) and
Christiane Rousseau (Montreal).

Activities include:


New Perspectives on the N-body Problem, BIRS, January 13-18, 2013

Planetary Motions, Satellite Dynamics, and Spaceship Orbits, CRM, July 22-26, 2013

Celestial, Molecular and Atomic N-Body Problems, University of Victoria, July 29-August 2, 2013

Symplectic Geometry and Celestial Mechanics, Fields (to be confirmed)


The Sixth International Meeting on Celestial Mechanics, Viterbo, Italy, September 1-7, 2013

Summer School:

Mathematical Methods for Celestial Mechanics, September 9-13, 2013


For further details and updates, please see the official webpage