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Intermolecular and Surface Forces, 3rd Edition by Jacob N. Israelachvili

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2 Thermodynamic and Statistical Aspects of Intermolecular Forces

2.1 The Interaction of Molecules in Free Space and in a Medium

While this book is not primarily concerned with thermodynamics or statistical mechanics, it is nevertheless appropriate to begin by considering some fundamental thermodynamic and statistical principles without which a mere knowledge of interaction forces will not always be very meaningful. In this chapter we shall introduce a number of simple but important thermodynamic relations and then illustrate how these, when taken together with the strengths of intermolecular forces, determine the properties of a system of many molecules. Analyses of more complex “self-assembling” structures are considered in Part III.

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