Lennard-Jones potential

Overview

**Lennard-Jones potential**(also referred to as the

**L-J potential**,

**6-12 potential**, or

**12-6 potential**) is a mathematically simple model that approximates the interaction between a pair of neutral atoms or molecules. A form of the potential was first proposed in 1924 by John Lennard-Jones

John Lennard-Jones

Sir John Edward Lennard-Jones KBE, FRS was a mathematician who was a professor of theoretical physics at Bristol University, and then of theoretical science at Cambridge University...

. The most common expressions of the L-J potential are

where*ε*is the depth of the potential wellPotential wellA potential well is the region surrounding a local minimum of potential energy. Energy captured in a potential well is unable to convert to another type of energy because it is captured in the local minimum of a potential well...

,*σ*is the finite distance at which the inter-particle potential is zero,*r*is the distance between the particles, and is the distance at which the potential reaches its minimum.