In the planetary (satellite) version of the classical many-body problem, a strict extremum criterion for the selection of realized resonant, quasi-stationary orbital motions is obtained. This criterion represents a principle of strong interaction, because it corresponds to strong links between the degrees of freedom of the resonant system. We prove that previous interpretations of the results of numerical simulation of this problem (the famous "principle of least interaction") are mistaken. © 2002 IMACS. Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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