Van-der-Waals forces

Purely physical adhesive forces between molecules and atoms without any chemical bond. They act only in the near field and are considerably weaker than chemical binding forces. Van-der-Waals forces are forces of attraction between 

  • dipoles
  • one dipole and one polarisable molecule which is polarised by the effect of the dipole
  • two polarisable molecules which polarise each other

Named after the Dutch physicist Johann Diderik van der Waals (1837 - 1923).

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