(Polar molecules, Non-polar molecules, etc.)
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I would say that a molecule whose charges cancel to make an overall charge of zero or one that has no charge to begin with it what we classify as non-polar. A polar molecule is a molecule whose charge is overall in one direction or another.
I'm also having trouble determining whether a molecule is polar or nonpolar-- I realize the directionality of the charges are important, but that's what I have trouble determining. Should I refer to Chapter 3 for help with this? Thanks!
When determining if a compound is polar or nonpolar I would look at the overall charge of the compound so that the dipole moments cancel each other out. Visually you can determine a non polar or polar compound by looking at the symmetry of the lewis structure and if it is symmetrical it is non polar and vise versa.
Another way to quickly determine whether a molecule is polar or non-polar is to look at the lewis structures. Generally, a non-polar molecule will look completely symmetrical, such as CCl4. The chlorines pull on the carbon in an equal manor with equal bond angles. Other lewis structures which are not symmetrical or have lone pairs are generally polar. For example water (H20) has a lone pair and is a polar molecule even though the oxygens look like they are pulling on the Hydrogen atom equally and symmetrically.
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