One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(of a system or instrument) consisting of or employing a combination of magnets suspended in a uniform magnetic field on a single wire or thread in such a way that no torque is present.
- ‘Sensitivity is enhanced by use of multiple-spring astatic systems, which are more vulnerable than single springs to breakage or simple tangling.’
Early 19th century: from Greek astatos ‘unstable’ + -ic.
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