Why do orbital systems look the way they do?

We hope to gain a greater understanding of why planetary and galactic orbital systems form as either synchronous or asynchronous systems. We simulate the orbiting particles and their movements. We believe that it is possible Kuramoto's model for synchronization can be used to explain the behavior of the particles orbiting about the larger mass object. We believe that the difference between synchrony and asynchrony will be a function of parameters for the system. We examine the effect the parameters have on the order parameter, defined by the Kuramoto model. We additionally examine the simplest system, one with two orbiting particles. We see that there are equilibrium points, indicating the possibility of both synchrony and asynchrony, depending on the system parameters. Our results merit further investigation into the equilibrium of the system with a large number of particles.


Jennifer Ruda



Wheaton College, Illinois