Only someone with a short‐range view could fail to be aware of the great importance of long‐range interactions. Indeed, from the late 18th century, when Coulomb discovered that the electrostatic interaction has the same $1/r2$ force law that Newton had found for the gravitational interaction, until perhaps the 1930s, when the strong and weak interactions began to be understood, long‐range interactions largely *were* the subject of physics. By long‐range interactions I mean not only those for which the potential behaves as $1/r$ for all *r* but those whose potentials behave asymptotically as some power of $1/r.$ These originate in $1/r$ potentials and include, for example, the van der Waals $1/r6$ interaction (as calculated nonrelativistically) between two spherically symmetric atoms at a large separation *r*, and multipole interactions between charge distributions. Long‐range potentials therefore not only play a vital role in astrophysics via Newton's law of gravitation and a significant role in nuclear physics via Coulomb's law, but determine almost all of atomic, molecular and condensed‐matter physics.

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