# Virial Theorem

## Main Question or Discussion Point

So my Atomic Physics professor today was talking about some called the "Virial theorem" in relation to Bohr Model of the H-atom, which in my 5 years of college physics I had never heard of >_<;; . It turns out that I had seen equations that use concept of the Potential "==" Kinetic Energy, I just never heard it called Virial Theorm.

Since I kind of too embarassed to ask my physics professor this, does anyone know a good book about Virial Theorem and its various uses in physics? Anything that does it from the perspective of atomic physics would be helpful too.

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Wikipedia actually has a fairly decent article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virial_theorem

However, notice that there is not one virial theorem. We can talk of classical vs quantum, time average vs ensemble average, various different interactions and energies, etc.

Ken G
Gold Member
George Collins wrote an entire book on the virial theorem, with that name, from an astronomical perspective. Classical descriptions of atoms would then be just a (very) small analog of a whole star.

This's theorem said that system in which the forces are inversely proportional to the square of the distance can not be in a state of stable equilibrium

alxm
This's theorem said that system in which the forces are inversely proportional to the square of the distance can not be in a state of stable equilibrium
I think you mean Earnshaw's Theorem?

I think you mean Earnshaw's Theorem?
this general conclusion virial theorem
KITTEL "Mechanics"

Ken G
Gold Member
The virial theorem is more general than something that is true of inverse-square forces.

Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus