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Q & A: why doesn't the Earth collapse

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Most recent answer: 06/23/2013
If opposite poles of magnets are attracted to each other then why doesn't the earth collapse on itself?
- Jacob

Think of any ordinary magnet. It also doesn't collapse. There are other forces around in addition to the rather weak magnetic forces. On the scale of the Earth, gravity is much more important, but it also doesn't cause the Earth to collapse. The main reason things don't collapse is that quantum mechanical effects make it hard for atoms and molecules to compress. We could describe that further if you'd like. Here's an old answer to help you get started. 

Mike W.

(published on 06/23/2013)

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