Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Van der Waals forces question

  1. Sep 4, 2015 #1
    I may be as wrong as an alchemist, but according to what I know, many substance stay together because of vander vaal's forces (I forgot how it's spelt) which is essentially the temporary dipoles that form around molecules, some times, the dipoles line up such that two neighbouring molecules have oppositely charged ends pointing at one another, causing attraction. My question is, why don't the same effect be just as strong and frequent in the cases where the similarly charged dipole ends point together and cause repulsion, pushing the substance apart on the molecular scale?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 4, 2015 #2

    mfb

    User Avatar
    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    The dipoles induce each other - and this is always in an attractive way. It's similar to a magnet attracting a nonmagnetic piece of iron. The field leads to the correct orientation for attraction.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Van der Waals forces question
  1. Van Der Waals Force (Replies: 6)

  2. Van der Waals forces (Replies: 2)

Loading...