Investigate why the Lennard-Jones potential gives a good
approximate explanation for the behaviour of atoms at close ranges
Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:
This problem required making logical arguments that come together to form a proof. It can be hard to put all the steps in the right place but we received great solutions from Michael from the UK, Kaan from the German Highschool, Istanbul, Turkey andAlex from England. They all used very similar ideas and Michael
produced a very well written and formatted word document explaining the ideas. The full solution is in PDF format at the following link: Interpolating Polynomials Soln1.pdf
The NRICH Project aims to enrich the mathematical experiences of all learners. To support this aim, members of the
NRICH team work in a wide range of capacities, including providing professional development for teachers wishing to
embed rich mathematical tasks into everyday classroom practice.