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LennardJones Potential V(r) (Condensed Matter) 
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#1
Aug609, 06:10 PM

P: 62

http://www.ph.qmul.ac.uk/phy108/CM20...%20Forces2.pdf
Page 6, I've understood all of the notes so far. But it just randomly goes into this, what/where did these p's and q's come from? What do they mean? Can't find anything that I can understand online! 


#2
Aug609, 10:11 PM

Mentor
P: 12,064

It is found (experimentally, I think) that the potential between atoms or ions has the behavior given by the 1st equation on page 6, where p and q are integer exponents in that expression. That's pretty much it, they are just the exponents that describe the potential. For two neutral, inert gas atoms, p=12 & q=6 describes the potential. For an ion + neutral atom, p and q will be something else. For two oppositely charged ions, we know that q=1 because of the inversesquarelaw for charged particles.
Hope that helps. 


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