A major challenge for our understanding of the mathematical basis of particle dynamics is the formulation of N-body and N-vortex dynamics on Riemann surfaces. In this paper, we show how the two problems are, in fact, closely related when considering the role played by the intrinsic geometry of the surface. This enables a straightforward deduction of the dynamics of point masses, using recently derived results for point vortices on general closed differentiable surfaces M endowed with a metric g. We find, generally, that Kepler's Laws do not hold. What is more, even Newton's First Law (the law of inertia) fails on closed surfaces with variable curvature (e.g. the ellipsoid).
- Received January 7, 2016.
- Accepted July 11, 2016.
- © 2016 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.