Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


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Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 43:4 (1957), pp. 341-346. Copyright 1957 National Academy of Science USA. Used by permission.


The London force between macromolecules immersed in a liquid medium has an interesting property which may be of biological significance. For the purpose of formulating the London interaction, one may represent each macromolecule by a set of electric dipole oscillators of specified polarizability, frequency, and orientation. To consider the simplest case, one may study macromolecules of globular form not in direct contact with each other. (They might be separated by Debyeiuckel- Onsager atmospheres made up of molecules from the medium; then the equilibrium distance between the macromolecules would be regulated by concentration changes in the ionic medium.)' Such a geometrical arrangement means that the dipole oscillators, which actually are distributed all over a macromolecule, can be replaced by oscillators located at this macromolecule's center. The quadrupole, octupole, etc., terms (which arise when the oscillators are displaced to the molecular center) can be neglected in a crude first approximation.

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