Part II Physics Literature review projects

Dr. David J.C. MacKay, Astrophysics group

Room 961 Rutherford building, x39852,


Meet to discuss at 2pm on Tuesday October 24th

1. Ejections and captures by solar systems

The famous mathematician, Littlewood, proved (using Liouville's theorem, I think) that it is impossible for an idealised solar system to permanently capture an asteroid unless something else is ejected from the solar system.

What response has there been in the literature to this result? Is there a more down-to-earth explanation than Littlewood's?

What theoretical or observational evidence is there that our solar system has ejected planets on its way to the current nine?

[1] Littlewood, J. E., Littlewood's Miscellany, edited by Bela Bollobas (New York: Cambridge, 1953/1986)

David MacKay <>
Last modified: Fri Sep 15 16:55:35 2000