We discuss the implementation of a new regular algorithm for simulation of the gravitational few-body problem. The algorithm uses components from earlier methods, including the chain structure, the logarithmic Hamiltonian, and the time-transformed leapfrog. The code can be used for the normal N-body problem, as well as for problems with softened potentials and/or with velocity-dependent external perturbations, including post-Newtonian terms, which we include up to order PN2.5. Arbitarily extreme mass ratios are allowed. Coordinate transformations are not used and thus the algorithm is somewhat simpler than many earlier regularized schemes. We present the results of performance tests, then use our algorithm to integrate the orbits of the S stars around the Milky Way supermassive black hole for one million years, including PN2.5 terms and an intermediate-mass black hole. The three S stars with shortest periods are observed to escape from the system after a few hundred thousand years.

Publication Date



This is the pre-print of an article published by the American Astronomical Society. © 2008 The American Astronomical Society. The final, published version is located here: https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-6256/135/6/2398

Also archived in: arXiv:0709.3367 v1 Sep 21 2007

Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)


RIT – Main Campus