In physics and astronomy, Euler's three-body problem is to solve for the motion of a body that is acted upon by the gravitational field of two other bodies. This problem is named after Leonhard Euler (1707-1783), who discussed it in memoirs published in the 1760s. In these publications, Euler found that the parameter that controls the relative distances among three collinear bodies is given by a quintic equation. Later on, in 1772, Lagrange dealt with the same problem, and demonstrated that for any three masses with circular orbits, there are two special constant-pattern solutions, one where the three bodies remain collinear, and the other where the bodies occupy the vertices of two equilateral triangles. Because of their importance, these five points became known as Lagrange points. The quintic equation found by Euler for the relative distances among the collinear bodies was also found later by Lagrange, and because of that, Euler has also been given credit for the discovery of the three collinear Lagrange points. A practical application of the collinear points for satellite location is also presented.
Bistafa, Sylvio R.
"Euler's three-body problem,"
Euleriana: 1(2), p. 181, Article 6.
Available at: https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/euleriana/vol1/iss2/6