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11 Examples of Equilibrium

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Equilibrium is a state in which competing forces are balanced. The following are common examples.


An even distribution of weight resulting in stability such as a pencil balancing on its tip.

Supply & Demand

The price at which supply equals demand.

Chemical Reactions

When two chemicals are mixed they may react for some period of time until they reach some stable state. For example, if you mix baking soda and vinegar this will release carbon dioxide for a while and result in a substance known as sodium acetate.


The temperature of a hot or cold beverage will eventually reach room temperature.


When you jump you will eventually return to the ground.


According to the efficient market hypothesis, periods of irrational exuberance or fear in a stock market will eventually subside and prices will reflect the long term earnings of each company.


A power balance whereby no one person has too much power and authority over a society, organization or system.


Ecosystems have some equilibrium between competing forces such as predators and prey. For example, if deer populations suddenly explode, predator populations may also increase to reduce the population.


Societies may tend towards equilibrium. For example, if a new technology changes life in some negative way, culture may adapt with norms or changing behaviors that restore quality of life.

Mental Balance

The feeling that your thoughts are balanced and reasonable given each situation.


The body has systems to try to return to an equilibrium state when something changes. For example, when you get hot you may sweat until you return to a normal body temperature.


For a set of competing forces, there may be multiple states of equilibrium. For example, there are multiple ways to sit in a chair without falling.
Overview: Equilibrium
A state in which competing forces are balanced.
Related Concepts
Next: Stability
More first principles:
Arrow Of Time
Art For Art's Sake
Keep It Small
KISS Principle
Ban The Average
Least Astonishment
Big Picture
Business As Usual
Worse Is Better
Complexity Hiding
Do No Harm
Fit For Purpose
Form Follows Function
Form Follows Nature
Genius Loci
Interchangeable Parts
Keep It Simple Stupid
Less Is A Bore
Less Is More
More Is Different
Path Of Least Resistance
Preserving Ambiguity
Think Global, Act Local
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