unstable equilibrium

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unstable equilibrium

[¦ən′stā·bəl ē·kwə′lib·rē·əm]
(physics)
An equilibrium state of a system in which any departure of the system from equilibrium gives rise to forces or tendencies moving the system further away from equilibrium; for example, mechanical equilibrium in which the potential energy is a maximum, as a sphere sitting on top of a hill.

unstable equilibrium

The condition of a structure in a state of equilibrium; when a slight disturbance is applied to the structure and then removed, the structure does not return to its original equilibrium position. Compare with stable equilibrium.
References in periodicals archive ?
Support: The statement does not distinguish between stable and unstable equilibria.
One result of this study (Result 1) is to buttress the results of previous experiments that demonstrate that markets have dynamic properties that can produce both stable and unstable equilibria.
The conventional solution to the problem is to discard the equilibria that are unstable under the presumption that unstable equilibria cannot be observed, that is, they are removed from all consideration.
offer curve (such as point U) represent unstable equilibria.