1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Van der Waals' Forces


Definition: Van der Waals' forces are a group of relatively weak intermolecular interactions which generally result when a molecule or group of molecules become polarized into a magnetic dipole. This happens most often due to uneven or shifting distributions within the electron cloud of the atoms.

These sorts of interactions were first documented by Johannes Diderik van der Waals, a Dutch physicist & chemist, after whom they were named. Originally the name referred to all intermolecular interactions, though it has over the years come to mean the more specific group of interactions resulting from temporary dipole interactions.

Also Known As: London disperson forces,Keesom forces,Debye forces
  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. Physics
  4. Physics Dictionary
  5. Physics: U to Z
  6. Van der Waals' Forces - definition of Van der Waals' forces

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.