Earnshaw's theorem

Quick Reference

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 (1805–1888) proved this result in 1842. Earnshaw's theorem means that neither a planetary system nor an atom can be composed of static bodies.

Subjects: Chemistry — Physics.

Reference entries