N-Body Simulation and Collective Communication (SC '08 Education Program's Workshop on Parallel & Cluster Computing)
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An N-body problem is a problem involving N “bodies” – that is, particles (e.g., stars, atoms) – each of which applies a force to all of the others. For example, if you have N stars, then each of the N stars exerts a force (gravity) on all of the other N–1 stars. Likewise, if you have N atoms, then every atom exerts a force (nuclear) on all of the other N–1 atoms.