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Intermolecular forces

Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:11 am
by halle young 4A
can someone give a definition for london forces? the definition in my notes is a bit confusing. Also, is van der waals just a term to describe all intermolecular forces?

Re: Intermolecular forces

Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:16 am
by Brian Tangsombatvisit 1C
Van der waals is just another way of saying London forces, which are also known as induced dipole - induced dipole forces. All molecules have these forces, whether they are polar or not. When two molecules get close to each other, their electron distributions fluctuate, resulting in induced dipoles and a weak attraction between them, even if they are both nonpolar.

The larger the atom is, the more polarizable it is, meaning that it has more electrons to be easily distorted when it gets closer to another atom, resulting in stronger LDFs (london dispersion forces).