The Computation of van der Waals Interactions
Ian Snook
RMIT, Department of Applied Physics, GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne, Victoria,
Australia, 3001
Dispersion or van der Waals forces (potentials) play a key role in many
phenomena e.g. "docking" of biological molecules, in colloidal and
nano-crystal stability, the phase behaviour of non-polar substances, and
in most areas of soft condensed matter. How ever, the calculation of such
interaction potentials from first principles is difficult for atoms and
extremely difficult for systems involving surfaces. This talk will outline
the basic ideas behind these calculations and their importance. In
particular the problems involved in applying the two most popular methods
i.e. Symmetry Adapted Perturbation Theory and Supermolecule methods to
even the simplest systems will be outlined. Some ideas for the future
will also be discussed.