van der Waals forces

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van der Waals forces

pl n
(General Physics) weak electrostatic forces between atoms and molecules caused by transient distortions in the distribution of electrons in the interacting atoms or molecules
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van′ der Waals'` forc`es

(ˈvæn dər ˌwɑlz, ˌwɑls)
n.pl.
weakly attractive forces that act between neutral atoms or molecules.
[1925–30; after J. Dutch. van der Waals (1837–1923), Dutch physicist]
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