Saturday, May 15, 2010

van der Waals - one hundred years later

Monday's lecture is on the van der Waals equation of state and how it can be used to describe the liquid-vapour transition, including the critical point.

The lecture also illustrates how the power of the Maxwell equal area construction, which is not the easiest thing to explain or for students to understand.

van der Waals got his Nobel Prize exactly one hundred years ago. Later I am giving a lecture for the Physics Museum at UQ on the significance of his achievements. Of particular significance to me is that it leads naturally to the notion of universality.

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