Johannes Diderik van der Waals

230px-Johannes_Diderik_van_der_WaalsJohannes Diderik van der Waals (Dutch; 23 November 1837 – 8 March 1923) Theoretical physicist and thermodynamicist famous for his work on an equation of state for gases and liquids. His name is primarily associated with the van der Waals equation of state that describes the behavior of gases and their condensation to the liquid phase. His name is also associated with van der Waals forces (forces between stable molecules), with van der Waals molecules (small molecular clusters bound by van der Waals forces), and with van der Waals radii (sizes of molecules). He became the first physics professor of the University of Amsterdam when in 1877 the old Athenaeum was upgraded to Municipal University. Van der Waals won the 1910 Nobel Prize in physics. Read more…

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