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Etymology 1[edit]

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From Latin vīs (vīs has a hidden "r" that shows in forms such as the genitive plural, vīrium)


virial ‎(not comparable)

  1. (mechanics) Of or pertaining to the interactive forces between molecules or particles


virial ‎(plural virials)

  1. (mechanics) Half of the product of the stress of attraction or repulsion with the distance between two particles.
    • 1875, James Clerk Maxwell, On the Dynamical Evidence of the Molecular Constitution of Bodies, Nature 11 (1875), 357-359, 374-377,
      The quantity 1/2 Rr, or half the product of the attraction into the distance across which the attraction is exerted, is defined by Clausis [Prof. Clausis of Bonn] as the virial of the attraction. (In the case of pressure or repulsion, the virial is negative.)

Etymology 2[edit]


virial ‎(not comparable)

  1. Misspelling of viral.