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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 5 Issue 3 (2000) pp 149-155

Johannes Diderik van der Waals: A Life of Achievements

Jaime Wisniak

Department of Chemical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel 84105

Published online: 1 June 2000

Abstract. Van der Waals is one of the most distinguished men in thermodynamics and author of an equation of state that has become the basis of all modern equations of state and theories of mixtures. Here we give a description of his life and his scientific and academic achievements. The van der Waals equation of state is discussed in detail with the goal of understanding the reasons for its inadequacy to give a quantitative prediction of the behavior of a real gas.

Key Words:  Chemistry and History; gases

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Issue date: June 1, 2000

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