# Homoeoid

A homoeoid is a shell (a bounded region) bounded by two concentric, similar ellipses (in 2D) or ellipsoids (in 3D).[1][2] When the thickness of the shell becomes negligible, it is called a thin homoeoid. The name homoeoid was coined by Lord Kelvin and Peter Tait.[3]

## Mathematical definition

If the outer shell is given by

${\displaystyle {\frac {x^{2}}{a^{2}}}+{\frac {y^{2}}{b^{2}}}+{\frac {z^{2}}{c^{2}}}=1}$

with semiaxes ${\displaystyle a,b,c}$ the inner shell is given for ${\displaystyle 0\leq m\leq 1}$ by

${\displaystyle {\frac {x^{2}}{a^{2}}}+{\frac {y^{2}}{b^{2}}}+{\frac {z^{2}}{c^{2}}}=m^{2}}$.

The thin homoeoid is then given by the limit ${\displaystyle m\to 1}$

## Physical meaning

A homoeoid can be used as a construction element of a matter or charge distribution. The gravitational or electromagnetic potential of a homoeoid homogeneously filled with matter or charge is constant inside the shell. This means that a test mass or charge will not feel any force inside the shell.[4]