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van der Waals forces

n pl :  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
Waals, 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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