Article citationsMore >>

J. D. Jackson, Classical Electrodynamics, 3rd Ed. (John Wiley 2011) Sect 14.1.

has been cited by the following article:


Can a Charge Configuration with Extreme Excess Charge be Stable?

1B&E Scientific Ltd, BN25 4PA, United Kingdom

International Journal of Physics. 2015, Vol. 3 No. 4, 150-154
DOI: 10.12691/ijp-3-4-2
Copyright © 2015 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Arne Bergstrom. Can a Charge Configuration with Extreme Excess Charge be Stable?. International Journal of Physics. 2015; 3(4):150-154. doi: 10.12691/ijp-3-4-2.

Correspondence to: Arne  Bergstrom, B&E Scientific Ltd, BN25 4PA, United Kingdom. Email:


The classical electrodynamics of a macroscopic system with extreme excess charge is considered. The crucial assumption is here made that the electrodynamics of the system is completely dominated by the huge Coulomb repulsion, but counteracted by the resulting, violently oscillating acceleration field. It is shown that a special case of a system of this kind in the form of a charged spherical shell with powerful excess charge may exhibit violent such oscillations, effectively freezing it from expansion and thus in principle showing a counter-intuitive stability, albeit presumably short-lived. This effect may possibly have a bearing on, e g, some types of ball lightning observations, and is here also discussed in relation to the virial theorem, which traditionally is considered to exclude stable, localised electromagnetic configurations of this type. The oscillation frequency obtained for confinement of the type discussed in the article agrees well with what has been shown in laboratory experiments using microwaves to produce stationary luminous plasmoids in test tubes.