The “sceptical chymist”: intermolecular doubts and paradoxes
Physico-chemical doubts and paradoxes abound in the description of forces and in the molecular simulation of the crystalline state, as they did in Boyle's times about the inner structure of matter. Solid-state structuring and bonding are still characterized in sometimes doubtful, sometimes paradoxical, and sometimes distorted terminologies. Phase transitions are mostly considered as just relationships between the two termini, without an operational understanding of the in-between transition mechanisms. Drawing from personal experience and recent computational results, this highlight provides a few answers, many caveats, and some suggestions for a better handling of these tortuous matters.