Posted by Diego Assencio on The answer is no, and this fact is referred to as the Earnshaw's theorem. One of the consequences of Earnshaw's theorem is the fact that a classical model for the atom cannot be stable if it is based on a static fixed distribution of charges. For such an atom, the charge configuration would not be in stable equilibrium and therefore unable to resist even the slightest disturbance. NOTE: A name and a comment max. Equations will be processed if surrounded with dollar signs as in LaTeX.

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Newton's law of gravitation. A fundamental result concerning bodies that interact according to inverse square laws, such as Coulomb's law of electrostatics and Newton's law of gravitation. It states that a system consisting of such bodies cannot be in stable static equilibrium. The Reverend Samuel Earnshaw — proved this result in Earnshaw's theorem means that neither a planetary system nor an atom can be composed of static bodies.

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Don't have an account? Sign in via your Institution. You could not be signed in, please check and try again. Sign in with your library card Please enter your library card number. Show Summary Details Overview Earnshaw's theorem. Earnshaw's theorem in A Dictionary of Physics 6 Length: 68 words.

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## Earnshaw's theorem

Newton's law of gravitation. A fundamental result concerning bodies that interact according to inverse square laws, such as Coulomb's law of electrostatics and Newton's law of gravitation. It states that a system consisting of such bodies cannot be in stable static equilibrium. The Reverend Samuel Earnshaw — proved this result in Earnshaw's theorem means that neither a planetary system nor an atom can be composed of static bodies. Subjects: Science and technology — Chemistry. All Rights Reserved.

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The idea of magnetic levitation is quite fascinating. In , Samuel Earnshaw presented a paper to the Cambridge Philosophical Society, in which he showed that it is impossible to place a collection of bodies, subject only to electrostatic forces, in such a way that they remain in a stable equilibrium configuration. This is now known as Earnshaw's Theorem. You can see a copy of the original paper here.

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Earnshaw's theorem states that a collection of point charges cannot be maintained in a stable stationary equilibrium configuration solely by the electrostatic interaction of the charges. This was first proven by British mathematician Samuel Earnshaw in It is usually referenced to magnetic fields , but was first applied to electrostatic fields. Earnshaw's theorem applies to classical inverse-square law forces electric and gravitational and also to the magnetic forces of permanent magnets , if the magnets are hard the magnets do not vary in strength with external fields.