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Talk:Intermolecular forces

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 Definition Non-covalent forces between atoms and molecules; often synonymous with Van der Waals forces. [d] [e]
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I worked on this article on Wikipedia, and intend to maintain and develop it on the Citizendium.
Check the history of edits to see who inserted this notice.

I was in the process of completely rewriting this WP article when I got fed up with WP and decided to stop contributing. I will continue here. --Paul Wormer 06:07, 6 September 2007 (CDT)

Excellent, and welcome!

Notice, we do have to keep that "Article is from Wikipedia?" checkbox checked if there is any content taken from Wikipedia, for which you are not responsible. --Larry Sanger 11:15, 6 September 2007 (CDT)


I finished this article. Maybe I will change a few details later. At this point in time every word in it is written by me, about 80% for WP and about 20% for CZ. What status number goes with that?--Paul Wormer 10:15, 7 September 2007 (CDT)

I changed it to a 1 on the metadata page. Now you need another editor to take a look at it to work towards approval.. you could try the mailing lists and see what happens. Let me know. --Matt Innis (Talk) 10:55, 7 September 2007 (CDT)


I just added the biology workgroup. Was there a strong reason for not including it? Chris Day (talk) 01:56, 12 September 2007 (CDT)

No, but I thought that the article was perhaps too physical/mathematical to be of interest to biologists.--Paul Wormer 02:30, 12 September 2007 (CDT)
I think you're sending the right message that using the physical equations is important to really understand these interactions. Gone are the days when biologists can survive with no math. Besides it is possible to read between the equations.
On the other hand, despite the fact these forces are important in biology, there is little reference to biological situations. There should probably be a related article that discusses this from a more biological perspective rather than trying to make this one lose it's focus. Chris Day (talk) 02:48, 12 September 2007 (CDT)
I couldn't agree more, the only problem is, I cannot write it. I'm completely ignorant about biology and biochemistry. --Paul Wormer 03:04, 12 September 2007 (CDT)

WP criticism

The WP equivalent of this article (which has about 80% overlap with the present CZ article) received the following perceptive, gently phrased, comments:

== This article is terribly useless. ==
I think I fell asleep while attempting to read it. People aren't coming to an article about intermolecular forces to see only deep physical theory and accompanying formulae while something as simple as a table comparing types of intermolecular forces is missing. Hell, there's only one mention of kj/mol, and even the most basic chemistry 101 book will tell you the relative strengths of different kinds of intermolecular forces. If an article is going to be chock full of higher-level physics, then it damn well better have the basic, encyclopedic information nailed down.-- 21:28, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Because of my high esteem for (in contrast to my opinion of, who is a s/d of a b.), I took this to heart and introduced some numerical examples. --Paul Wormer 07:50, 21 September 2007 (CDT)

Response to your request on the Physics Forum dated April 16, 2008

Paul, I won't even try to pretend that I have any knowledge of the physics involved in this article. However, just looking at the formatting and the text, it looks fine to me and I would not say that it was an "essay". I would say it is a "tour de force" of the subject matter.

I have only one correction to offer:

Where the "General Theory" section reads:

The books[1][2] may be consulted for modern and thorough expositions of the theory of intermolecular forces.
It is common to distinguish four fundamental interactions, see e.g., the books just mentioned and Refs.: [3][4]

I would suggest more simply:

The books[1][2] may be consulted for modern and thorough expositions of the theory of intermolecular forces.
It is common to distinguish four fundamental interactions:[1][2][3][4]

Hope this helps. - Milton Beychok 15:21, 16 April 2008 (CDT)

Thank you for your comment and I made the change.--Paul Wormer 18:59, 16 April 2008 (CDT)

Checked by expert

Part of this article is on Wikipedia where it is under continuous and fierce attack. Since -- as far as I can see -- nobody within the CZ community is expert enough to form an opinion, I asked my old friend and world's leading expert on intermolecular forces, prof. Bogumil Jeziorski of the University of Warsaw, to read it. He did so painstakingly and I changed the article according to his comments. I wish to thank him here for his efforts.--Paul Wormer 11:21, 19 June 2008 (CDT)

The WP version

For some time the WP version of this article, that I left behind unfinished, was not changed too drastically. Not too long ago, however, a British Wikipedian, studying toward his or her A levels, has removed everything from the article remotely connected to quantum mechanics. (S)he put some poppycock in its place. This has prompted me to write a section called The need for quantum mechanics, in which I explain that really, really, we need quantum mechanics to make sense of some parts of nature.--Paul Wormer 10:40, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

I fully agree with the initiative but have rephrased the section title a bit because it looked a bit odd as the first entry in the Table of contents. --Daniel Mietchen 12:54, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 A. J. Stone, The Theory of Intermolecular Forces, 1996, Clarendon Press, Oxford
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 I. G. Kaplan, Intermolecular Interactions, Wiley, Hoboken NJ (2006)
  3. 3.0 3.1 B. Jeziorski, R. Moszynski, and K. Szalewicz, Perturbation Theory Approach to Intermolecular Potential Energy Surfaces of van der Waals complexes, Chemical Reviews, vol. 94, pp. 1887-1930 (1994).
  4. 4.0 4.1 K. Szalewicz and B. Jeziorski, in: Molecular Interactions, editor S. Scheiner, Wiley, Chichester (1995). ISBN 0471959219.