This is the plot of the Van der Waals equations:
As you can see, the Van der Waals equation predicts a "stretched liquid" area (MNS). Is this physically feasible and what exactly happens there? Are there any intuitive explanations for this?
Chemistry Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for scientists, academics, teachers, and students in the field of chemistry. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
You can have a stretched liquid to some degree. The same way as pulling a solid body in all directions creates stresses that can have negative trace, you can stretch a liquid, which then holds together by cohesion forces.
The state is metastable and subject to cavitation, but not completely unstable. In thin capillary tubes (or rather very thin pores in some porous media) you can achieve negative pressures and hence be able to lift the water column above 10 m, as trees are able to do in their vascular tissue (Quenching Even the Tallest Thirst: How trees suck up water from the ground and avoid embolisms) and as can be reproduced in experiments (The transpiration of water at negative pressures in a synthetic tree).
A lot more, with some thermodynamic diagrams: Negative pressure of stretched liquid water. Geochemistry of soil capillaries