|Johannes Diederik van der Waals chemistry|
Changes of state
- Atoms in a gas are not infinitely small
- or unaffected by one another.
- They are not merely kinetic Newtonian objects
- with probable velocities
- moving at random far apart in space.
- If they were, the pressure of a gas
- would vary smoothly with its temperature.
- Johannes Diederik van der Waals
- modified the kinetic theory of gases
- developed by Maxwell and Boltzmann
- to account for a molecule’s size
- and its affects on its neighbors.
- His equation let him predict
- the phase transitions between stable states
- where a gas becomes a liquid
- or a liquid becomes a gas.
Van der Waals forces
- Tiny hairs on the toes of a gecko
- stick to leaves, ceilings, even plate glass
- because they get extremely close
- where small temporary
- or permanent polarizations
- cause molecules to act like magnets.
Making things happen
- Science cannot predict when a look
- becomes a laugh.
- Two magnets may repel or attract.
- Although a state of mind may be valuable,
- it would be more profitable
- if it were more predictable.