Is there any possibility of Van der Waal forces being cumulative? I have been thinking about this for a long time and have never came across an answer.


Van Der Waal forces are forces between-

force between permanent dipoles (Keesom force)

force between a permanent dipole and a corresponding induced dipole (Debye force)

force between instantaneously induced dipoles (London dispersion force).

As you may have learned or may learn in future classes dipoles are made of charges and electrostatic forces(forces between charges, somewhat similar to gravitaional forces if you havent heard about them) acts between charges. This force is conservative so Van der Waal forces are conservative.

Another method to prove- If they are not conservative that means work is done SHM of atoms which means atoms continue to lose energy which is not possible.


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