Public Figure Profiles

Johannes van der Waals

Johannes Diderik van der Waals (23 November 1837 – 8 March 1923) was a Dutch theoretical physicist and thermodynamicist famous for his pioneering work on the equation of state for gases and liquids. Van der Waals started his career as a school teacher. He became the first physics professor of the University of Amsterdam when in 1877 the old Athenaeum was upgraded to Municipal University. Van der Waals won the 1910 Nobel Prize in physics for his work on the equation of state for gases and liquids.His name is primarily associated with the Van der Waals equation of state that describes the behavior of gases and their condensation to the liquid phase. His name is also associated with Van der Waals forces (forces between stable molecules), with Van der Waals molecules (small molecular clusters bound by Van der Waals forces), and with Van der Waals radii (sizes of molecules). As James Clerk Maxwell said, "there can be no doubt that the name of Van der Waals will soon be among the foremost in molecular science."In his 1873 thesis, Van der Waals noted the non-ideality of real gases and attributed it to the existence of intermolecular interactions. He introduced the first equation of state derived by the assumption of a finite volume occupied by the constituent molecules. Spearheaded by Ernst Mach and Wilhelm Ostwald, a strong philosophical current that denied the existence of molecules arose towards the end of the 19th century. The molecular existence was considered unproven and the molecular hypothesis unnecessary. At the time Van der Waals's thesis was written (1873), the molecular structure of fluids had not been accepted by most physicists, and liquid and vapor were often considered as chemically distinct. But Van der Waals's work affirmed the reality of molecules and allowed an assessment of their size and attractive strength. His new formula revolutionized the study of equations of state. By comparing his equation of state with experimental data, Van der Waals was able to obtain estimates for the actual size of molecules and the strength of their mutual attraction.The effect of Van der Waals's work on molecular physics in the 20th century was direct and fundamental. By introducing parameters characterizing molecular size and attraction in constructing his equation of state, Van der Waals set the tone for modern molecular science. That molecular aspects such as size, shape, attraction, and multipolar interactions should form the basis for mathematical formulations of the thermodynamic and transport properties of fluids is presently considered an axiom. With the help of the Van der Waals's equation of state, the critical-point parameters of gases could be accurately predicted from thermodynamic measurements made at much higher temperatures. Nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, and helium subsequently succumbed to liquefaction. Heike Kamerlingh Onnes was significantly influenced by the pioneering work of Van der Waals. In 1908, Onnes became the first to make liquid helium; this led directly to his 1911 discovery of superconductivity.

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Some of their strengths

Johannes van der Waals has many admirable traits.

Based on spiritual traditions from around the world, they are someone who can be described as Adventurous, Independent, Energetic, Insightful, Honest, Intelligent, and Diplomatic.

Adventurous and Independent

According to Mysticism’s Astrology tradition, Johannes van der Waals is someone who is an adventurous, independent, and energetic person, who is insightful, imaginative, generous, and honest. A person who seems to identify with family, heritage and ancestry.

Constant and Serious

Based on Daoism’s Ba-Zi or ‘Chinese Zodiac’ tradition, people who know Johannes van der Waals well know them as someone who can be determined, unmoving, and firm, like a rock or a high mountain.

Independent and Organized

According to Hinduism’s Jyotisha or ‘Vedic Astrology’ tradition, many would also describe Johannes van der Waals as someone who is independent, organized, inventive, and generous.

A person who is curious and a loves learning, who seems to always know what to say, who has an optimism that can overcome any difficult situation, and who seems to be able to master almost any skill.

Intelligent and Leadership-oriented

Based on the Mayan Tzolk’in or ‘Mayan Astrology’ tradition, Johannes van der Waals is someone who is able to see things that others don't, and who can be an effective guide or mentor to others.

They are also someone who is curious, dynamic, and positive, and who enjoys inspiring and communicating with other people.

Optimistic and Quick-witted

According to Judaism’s Kabbalah tradition, Johannes van der Waals tends to be someone who is optimistic and spontaneous, and who has a clear and analytical mind. Who can be witty, with a happy-go-lucky- nature that makes others cheerful, and who possesses an adventurous zest for life.

Some of Johannes van der Waals's challenges

While Johannes van der Waals has many strengths, nobody is perfect. They also have some challenging traits they need to manage.

For example, Johannes van der Waals can be Impulsive, Careless, Hesitant, Narcissistic, Difficult, Perfectionist, and Domineering.

Impulsive and Careless

One of Johannes van der Waals's key challenges is that they are someone who can be impulsive and careless.

Johannes van der Waals must also exercise caution as they can have difficulty dealing with responsibility, authority, or criticism.

Domineering and Impatient

Johannes van der Waals is someone who can be demanding, egotistical, and controlling, can have a lack of judgment regarding personal finances, be argumentative and stubborn, and who can have a tendency to be withdrawn and spend time in self-imposed isolation.

Irritable and Callous

Finally, Johannes van der Waals also can be short-tempered, childish, insensitive, and careless at times.

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