|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.