Changes of state

1873

Changes of state

The book of science

Tom Sharp

Johannes Diederik van der Waals chemistry

Changes of state

Van der Waals forces

Making things happen

Newton taught that on the universal scale mathematics brings light to physics; Van der Waals applied mathematics on the atomic scale to explain the behavior of gases and the changes of state from solid, to liquid, to gas. Results of physical experiments demanding explanations suggest that an interplay between mathematics and physics is essential.

Van der Waals was influenced by the thermodynamics of Rudolf Clausius and the writings of James Clerk Maxwell, who praised his work.

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