THE AMAZING GECKO!
When molecules are close together, a slight attraction can develop between the oppositely charged regions of nearby molecules. One example of this attraction is van der Waals forces. Although van der Waals forces are not as strong as ionic or covalent bonds, they can hold molecules together, especially when the molecules are large.
Geckos are well known for their ability to climb even the smoothest of surfaces by harnessing the molecular power of van der Waals forces. The gecko's foot design allows it to come into contact with an extremely large area of the wall at the molecular level. Van der Waals forces form between molecules on the surface of a gecko's foot and molecules on the surface of the wall. The combined strength of all the van der Waals forces allows the gecko to balance the pull of gravity. Watch the video clip to see the gecko's amazing abilities and how scientists have developed synthetic compounds by learning from a gecko.
Journal Entry # 13
1. Define van der Waals forces.
2. Are van der Waals forces stronger or weaker than ionic or
3. How can such forces keep a gecko attached to a smooth, vertical
surface despite the gecko's weight?
4. Why would the gecko's technique of walking up a wall not work for
5. Briefly describe 2 experiments that were discussed in the first video.
6. How could this knowledge impact human life?