Symmetry-breaking for a restricted n-body problem in the Maxwell-ring configuration
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We investigate the motion of a massless body interacting with the Maxwell relative equilibrium, which consists of n bodies of equal mass at the vertices of a regular polygon that rotates around a central mass. The massless body has three equilibrium ℤn-orbits from which families of Lyapunov orbits emerge. Numerical continuation of these families using a boundary value formulation is used to construct the bifurcation diagram for the case n = 7, also including some secondary and tertiary bifurcating families. We observe symmetry-breaking bifurcations in this system, as well as certain period-doubling bifurcations.
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