Does the Levitron really defy Earnshaw's Law?
Date: Monday, December 04, 2006 @ 20:52:48 GMT
Earnshaw's law of 1839 is based on Gauss's law. The principle behind Earnshaw's law is that no combination of inverse square law forces can provide a stability node for static levitation.
Atomic stability involving the balance between electrostatic repulsion and electrostatic attraction was once thought to disobey Earnshaw's law. The riddle has never been officially resolved, but anybody who has studied the graph that illustrates the inter atomic bonding force, and who has seen the stability node, knows that the repulsive force is not an inverse square law force. It drops off at a faster rate than the mutually attractive long range force. This faster drop off rate can be explained by centrifugal repulsion. See "Gravity Reversal and Atomic Bonding" at,
Experiments to measure the inverse square law relationship in the electrostatic repulsion of charged pith balls take their measurements from the equilibrium node where gravity and electrostatics cancel out. However, if such an equilibrium node exists, then the inverse square law relationship of the electrostatic repulsion has been disproved from the outset. It's little wonder that a correction factor has to be introduced in order to make the results fit the inverse square law relationship. It clearly isn't an inverse square law relationship.
Diamagnetic levitation is said to occur because diamagnetism is an induced effect rather than a permanent effect and that it is proportional to the magnetic field intensity from the source permanent magnet. Under standard theory, this should mean that diamagnetism has got an inverse square law dependence and hence no levitation should be possible. Clearly diamagnetism doesn't have an inverse square law dependence. See "Archimedes' Principle in the Electric Sea" at,
The levitron is a permanent magnet that levitates. It spins to give it gyroscopic stability in order to prevent it from turning over. It is said that this spinning motion means that the levitron is not static, and it is hence allowed to break Earnshaw's law. However the spinning motion has got absolutely no bearing whatsoever on the repulsive magnetic force which is pushing the levitron upwards. Clearly an equilibrium node has been reached with the downward force of gravity. The conclusion can only be that the magnetic force of repulsion is not obeying an inverse square law.
All the repulsive forces mentioned in this article can be explained by centrifugal force. There is no breakdown of Earnshaw's law. Earnshaw's law by its very nature, and by its roots in Gauss's law cannot be broken. The only conclusion that can ever be inferred from a situation that appears to defy Earnshaw's law, is that one of the balancing forces is not an inverse square law force.
Yours sincerely, David Tombe