to Protein Structure
van der Walls Interactions
One way to think about covalent molecules is to consider them
as a collection of nuclei surrounded by a "cloud" of electrons.
- The electrons with this clouds are always moving.
- Sometimes the one area of the cloud is more dense than another. This
leads to the formation of a transient dipole within the molecule.
- The transient dipole can induce a dipole in an nearby molecule, by
attracting its electrons.
- The attraction between the two oppositely oriented dipoles is termed
a van der Walls interaction.
This is illustrated here:
molecule with dipole
van der Walls interaction
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2007 by Frank R. Gorga;
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