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27 November 2013 12:59 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The new head of the National Center for Science Education promises to "fight the good fight" against attacks on...
Analyses of the H7N9 strains isolated from four new cases show that the virus is evolving rapidly, heightening anxiety...
In 2009, Jack Szostak shared a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the role of telomeres, the end bits of...
Science has exposed a thriving academic black market in China involving shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and...
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Data collected by satellites and floating probes have chronicled a 2-decade rise in the temperature and thickness of a...
Cholesterol, the artery-clogging molecule that contributes to cardiovascular disease, has another nasty trick up its...
Until recently, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) kept its plans for its $70 million portion of the...
- 27 November 2013 12:59 pm , Vol. 342 , #6162
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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).]