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Temperature-Dependent van der Waals Forces

Authors
  • V. A. Parsegian
  • B. W. Ninham
Publication Date
Jul 01, 1970
Source
PMC
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Physics
License
Unknown

Abstract

Biological systems can experience a strong van der Waals interaction involving electromagnetic fluctuations at the low frequency limit. In lipid-water mixtures the free energy of this interaction is proportional to temperature, primarily involves an entropy change, and has qualitative features of a “hydrophobic bond.” Protein-protein attraction in dilute solution is due as much to low frequency proton fluctuation (Kirkwood-Shumaker forces) and permanent dipole forces as to high frequency (infrared and UV) van der Waals intreactions. These conclusions are described in terms of numerical calculations via the Lifshitz theory of van der Waals forces.

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