Volume 91 Issue 28 | p. 24 | Concentrates
Issue Date: July 15, 2013

Van der Waals Force Measured Between Atoms

Laser technique confirms theoretical predictions
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Analytical SCENE
Keywords: van der Waals, Rydberg, optical tweezers

The van der Waals force is an attraction between neutral atoms, molecules, or other particles. Although it is weak, it plays an important role in phenomena such as adhesion of gecko toes and tape, condensation of nonpolar gases, and molecular self-assembly. The weakness, however, makes it difficult to study the force between individual particles. A research group led by Lucas Béguin of France’s National Center for Scientific Research has developed a way to measure the . . .

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