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Van der Waals forces Watch

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    My understanding:
    electrons fluctuate so a dipole can be induced momentarily if many electrons end up being on one side of the atom meaning one side is more negative than the other for a moment.I don't quite understand what Van der Waals forces are exactly.
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    Yes, and this induces a dipole in nearby molecules momentarily, this is a temporary dipole but the overall effect is permanent.
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    So there are van Der Waal forces between virtually all molecules because of this temporary dipole.
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    (Original post by Acetyl)
    So there are van Der Waal forces between virtually all molecules because of this temporary dipole.
    We are describing a phenomenon but what exactly are these forces?
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    (Original post by Anonymous1502)
    We are describing a phenomenon but what exactly are these forces?
    Be careful with using the phrase vdW as some exam boards used the phrase incorrectly on now out of date specification (for which there are lots of past papers still available).

    Anyhoo, one side of a molecule/atom gets a small -ve charge which will induce a small +ve charge on another atom/molecule. These small charges attract electrostatically.
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    (Original post by Anonymous1502)
    My understanding:
    electrons fluctuate so a dipole can be induced momentarily if many electrons end up being on one side of the atom meaning one side is more negative than the other for a moment.I don't quite understand what Van der Waals forces are exactly.
    Because the electrons move there is a chance they appear on the same side for a split second making strong d- this causes other nearby electrons to the other side because of repulsion and then just like chain reaction
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