Waals, Johannes Diderik van der

Waals, Johannes Diderik van der:

see van der Waals, Johannes Diderikvan der Waals, Johannes Diderik
, 1837–1923, Dutch physicist. It had been known for some time that the behavior of real gases differs from that of an ideal gas as predicted by thermodynamics and the kinetic-molecular theory of gases.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Waals, Johannes Diderik Van Der


Born Nov. 23, 1837, in Leiden; died Mar. 9, 1923, in Amsterdam. Dutch physicist.

A self-taught man, Van der Waals was a professor at the University of Amsterdam from 1877 to 1907. In 1873 in his work On the Continuity of the Gaseous and Liquid States, having noted the volume of molecules and their mutual attraction, he conceived the idea of the continuity of gaseous and liquid states of matter and derived the equation that bears his name. This equation is equally applicable to liquids and gases and yields results close to the experimental ones. This work earned him his doctor’s degree. The equation, in its reduced form, led him to the discovery of the law of corresponding states. In 1890, Van der Waals proposed a general equation for binary mixtures. He also made substantial contributions to the development of the thermodynamic theory of capillarity. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1910.


Über die Kontinuität des gasförmigen und flüssigen Zustande s. Leipzig, 1881.
In Russian translation:
Kurs termostatiki, vols. 1-2. Moscow, 1936. (With F. Konstamm.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.