Dictionary

van der Waals forces

noun plural \ˈvan-dər-ˌwlz-, ˈvän-dər-ˌvälz-\

Definition of VAN DER WAALS FORCES

:  the relatively weak attractive forces that act on neutral atoms and molecules and that arise because of the electric polarization induced in each of the particles by the presence of other particles

Origin of VAN DER WAALS FORCES

Johannes D. van der Waals †1923 Dutch physicist
First Known Use: 1939

van der Waals forces

noun plural \ˈvan-dər-ˌwlz-\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of VAN DER WAALS FORCES

:  the relatively weak attractive forces that are operative between neutral atoms and molecules and that arise because of the electric polarization induced in each of the particles by the presence of other particles

Biographical Note for VAN DER WAALS FORCES

Waals \ˈwäls\ Johannes Diederik van der (1837–1923), Dutch physicist. Van der Waals was a professor of physics at the University of Amsterdam. In 1873 he first postulated the van der Waals forces in support of his theoretical treatment of real as distinguished from ideal gases. In 1910 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for his research on the mathematical equations describing the gaseous and liquid states of matter.

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