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Atoms and dipolar substances

by Prashasti
Tags: atoms, dipolar, substances
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Apr20-14, 12:59 AM
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P: 25
Can an atom be considered as an example of a dipole? It has positive charge in the nucleus and negative charge around it. So, can't it act as a dipole?
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M Quack
Apr20-14, 05:04 AM
P: 667
No. In the absence of an external electric field an isolated atom does not carry any electric dipole moment. The electron has equal probability of being on one side of the nucleus or the other.

The absence of an electric dipole moment is one of the shortcomings of the Bohr model of the hydrogen atom.

On the other hand, an external electric field can shift the electron distribution and thus induce a small electric dipole.
Vanadium 50
Apr20-14, 06:31 AM
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