Intermolecular Force Definition in Chemistry

Intermolecular forces are those that occur between molecules.
Intermolecular forces are those that occur between molecules. ALFRED PASIEKA, Getty Images

The intermolecular force is the sum of all the forces between two neighboring molecules. The forces result from the actions of the kinetic energy of atoms and the slight positive and negative electrical charges on different parts of a molecule that affect its neighbors and any solute that may be present.

The three main categories of intermolecular forces are London dispersion forces, dipole-dipole interaction, and ion-dipole interaction.

Hydrogen bonding is considered a form of dipole-dipole interaction, and so contributes to the net intermolecular force.

In contrast, intramolecular force is the sum of the forces that act within a molecule between its atoms.

The intermolecular force is measured indirectly using measurements of various properties, including volume, temperature, pressure, and viscosity.

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Intermolecular Force Definition in Chemistry." ThoughtCo, Nov. 15, 2017, thoughtco.com/definition-of-intermolecular-force-605252. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2017, November 15). Intermolecular Force Definition in Chemistry. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-intermolecular-force-605252 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Intermolecular Force Definition in Chemistry." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-intermolecular-force-605252 (accessed November 18, 2017).