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In class, we said that Van der Waals forces and London Dispersion forces are synonymous when talking about nonpolar bonds. However, in high school chem I remember that Van der Waals encompassed a broader category which included even those with weak dipoles, so I was just wondering whether these terms are interchangeable?
Van Der Waals is the general term used to describe intermolecular forces between atoms which encompasses both strong dipole-dipole moments and the weaker london dispersion forces. Therefore, london dispersion is a sub category of Van Der Waals interactions.
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