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Van der Waals force

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Van der Waals forces are forces that act between electrons or molecules. They are named after the Dutch scientist Johannes Diderik van der Waals (1837-1923). These forces are relatively weak, and do not include forces due to covalent bonds or electrostatic interactions. Van der Waals forces can be classified:


A gecko climbing a glass wall

Geckos can climb vertical surfaces: The underside of their feet is covered with very small hairs. Each hair can only transmit a very small force, but because there is a large number of these hairs the total force is sufficient for the animal to walk on ceilings and climb vertical surfaces. The forces involved are about 250 N.[1]


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