Polyatomic Molecules

(Polar molecules, Non-polar molecules, etc.)

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Jacqueline Duong 1H
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:28 am

Polyatomic Molecules

Postby Jacqueline Duong 1H » Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:28 pm

How can a polyatomic molecule be nonpolar if its bonds are polar?

Sierra Cheslick 2B
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:27 am

Re: Polyatomic Molecules

Postby Sierra Cheslick 2B » Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:37 pm

If the molecule is symmetrical around the central atom (for example CCl4) then the polar qualities of the bonds cancel each other out, as all the partial charges are "pulling" in different directions. However, this is only true if the atoms surrounding the central atom are all the same and therefore have the same partial charges. For example, CCl2H2 would not be nonpolar despite being symmetrical because hydrogen and chlorine do not have the same partial charges and therefore do not cancel each other out.

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