1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Electromagnetic force and resistance to displacement of atoms.

  1. Sep 10, 2009 #1


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    It is written over here http://www.particleadventure.org/electromagnetism.html that,
    "......the force that keeps you from falling through the floor is the electromagnetic force which causes the atoms making up the matter in your feet and the floor to resist being displaced."
    Can anyone explain how the electromagnetic force causes the atoms resist being displaced?
    And how does it cause friction?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 10, 2009 #2
    It is easy. Atoms interact with some sort of a potential force U(r) (a complex result of quantum mechnaical effects).
    At small displacements from the equilibrium positions the potentials U(ri) can be represented as quadratic ones => the forces are elastic (F=-kx) and returning. So any external force makes atoms displace until their new equilibrium positions where the elastic reaction force compensates the external force. QM is very important here - for atom stability.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2009
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Threads - Electromagnetic force resistance Date
I What is the electrostatic force field? Nov 21, 2017
B Non-ferrous solenoid actuator -- Force calculation Jun 2, 2017
B Difference in formulas of magnetic force and magnetic flux Mar 30, 2017
I What is induced magnetic field? Oct 17, 2016