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search-alias\%3Daps&field-keywords

Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A weak attractive force between atoms or nonpolar molecules caused by a temporary change in dipole moment arising from a brief shift of orbital electrons to one side of one atom or molecule, creating a similar shift in adjacent atoms or molecules.

Etymologies

After Johannes Diderik van der Waals (1837-1923), Dutch physicist.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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