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van der Waals' equation

or van der Waals equation

[ van der -wahlz, wawlz; Dutch vahn duhr -vahls ]
/ ˈvæn dər ˌwɑlz, ˌwɔlz; Dutch ˌvɑn dər ˈvɑls /
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noun Thermodynamics.

an equation of state relating the pressure, volume, and absolute temperature of a gas, taking into account the finite size of the molecules and the attractive force between them.

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Origin of van der Waals' equation

Named after J. D. van der Waals (1837–1923), Dutch scientist
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use van der Waals' equation in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for van der Waals' equation

van der Waals equation
/ (ˈvæn də ˌwɑːlz) /

noun

an equation of state for a non-ideal gas that takes account of intermolecular forces and the volume occupied by the molecules of the gas
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for van der Waals' equation

van der Waals equation

An equation that relates the pressure, volume, and absolute temperature of a gas taking into account the finite size of molecules, and their intermolecular attraction, having the form RT = (P + av-2)(v - b), where R is the gas constant, T is the absolute temperature, P is the pressure, v is the volume of fluid per molecule, a is a measure of the attraction of the molecules for each other (due to van der Waals forces), and b is the volume occupied by a single molecule. The equation accurately captures phase transitions between liquid and gas phases of substances. See also ideal gas law.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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