- News Home
17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
The Attraction of Gases
23 November 1998 7:00 pm
Today is the 161st anniversary of the birth of Johannes van der Waals, a Dutch physical chemist known for his theories about gases and interatomic forces. Van der Waals described in simple mathematical terms the various phenomena of gases and liquids that other scientists had observed experimentally, such as the existence of a critical temperature, above which a gas cannot be liquefied by pressure alone. By accounting for the intermolecular attractions of different gases, van der Waals extended the idealized gas laws of Robert Boyle and others to the behavior of real gases. These intermolecular attractions in gases came to be known as van der Waals forces. Van der Waals won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1910 and died in 1923.
[Source: Roy Porter, Ed., The Biographical Dictionary of Scientists (Oxford University Press, ed. 2, 1994).]