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I understand that when dipole moments cancel out, a molecule is not polar but I am having trouble understanding the dipole moments on the first place. Does anyone have a simple explanation that could help understanding dipole moments and their connection to polarity?
The unequal sharing of electrons within a bond leads to the formation of an electric dipole (a separation of positive and negative electric charges).
Bonds can fall between one of two extremes, from completely nonpolar to completely polar.
I hope this helps connect dipoles & polarity!
If a bond is polar, it has a dipole moment. A polar bond means that the two atoms have different electronegativities. Whichever has a larger electronegativity is partially more negative and the atom is partially more positive. This unequal sharing of electrons causes a dipole moment. To show this, you draw an arrow above the bond, starting at the partially positive atom and ending at the partially negative atom.
Dipole Moments: Compare the electronegativities between the bonds. The one that has is the most electronegative gets the sigma - while the least electronegative of the pair gets the sigma +. We draw dipole moments towards the element with the sigma -.
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