van der Waals forces

plural noun
\ ˈvan-dər-ˌwȯlz- How to pronounce van der Waals forces (audio) , ˈvän-dər-ˌvälz- How to pronounce van der Waals forces (audio) \

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

First Known Use of van der Waals forces

1939, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for van der Waals forces

after Johannes Diderik van der Waals †1923 Dutch physicist, who postulated the existence of such a force

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Time Traveler for van der Waals forces

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The first known use of van der Waals forces was in 1939

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Dictionary Entries Near van der Waals forces

van der Waals equation

van der Waals forces

Van Diemen Gulf

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Cite this Entry

“Van der Waals forces.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/van%20der%20Waals%20forces. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for van der Waals forces

van der Waals forces

noun plural
\ ˈvan-dər-ˌwȯlz- How to pronounce van der Waals forces (audio) \

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

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