Definition of van der Waals forces in English:

Share this entry

van der Waals forces

Pronunciation: /ˌvan də ˈwɑːlz/
Pronunciation: /ˈvɑːlz/

plural noun

Chemistry
Weak, short-range electrostatic attractive forces between uncharged molecules, arising from the interaction of permanent or transient electric dipole moments.
Example sentences
  • The basic idea of the experiment is to suddenly neutralize the layer, so that the attractive van der Waals force will press the bead against the slide.
  • The van der Waals force is long range, attractive, and relatively weak.
  • His team discovered that van der Waals force helps the gecko's feet stick.

Origin

Late 19th century: named after Johannes van der Waals (1837–1923), Dutch physicist.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: van der Waals forces

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.