Van der Waals forces are driven by induced electrical interactions between two or more atoms or molecules that are very close to each other. Van der Waals interaction is the weakest of all intermolecular attractions between molecules. However, with a lot of Van der Waals forces interacting between two objects, the interaction can be very strong.
You are watching: Van der waals interactions may result when
Here is a chart to compare the relative weakness of Van der Waals forces to other intermolecular attractions.
|Van der Waals||0.4-4.0||0.3-0.6|
Causes of Van der Waals Forces
Quantum Mechanics strongly emphasizes the constant movement of electrons in an atom through the Schrödinger Equation and the Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. The Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle proposes that the energy of the electron is never zero; therefore, it is constantly moving around its orbital. The square of the Schrödinger Equation for a particle in a box suggests that it is probable of finding the electron (particle) anywhere in the orbital of the atom (box).
These two important aspects of Quantum Mechanics strongly suggest that the electrons are constantly are moving in an atom, so dipoles are probable of occurring. A dipole is defined as molecules or atoms with equal and opposite electrical charges separated by a small distance.
It is probable to find the electrons in this state: