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Electric field of water dipole

  1. May 19, 2015 #1
    I cannot find the answer to my question anywhere on the internet so hopefully someone here will end my long search with the correct answer.
    It is well known that a single water molecule has a permanent electric dipole which produces a dipole intrinsic electric field. Let's say the dipole is pointing in the x direction.. my question is: what is the direction of this electric field? If there is another water molecule nearby, how will it respond to the dipole electric field of the first molecule? (without taking account of hydrogen bonding, external fields, or any other issues.. it is just a question about the electric field generated by a single water molecule and how it polarizes another molecule).
  2. jcsd
  3. May 19, 2015 #2
  4. May 19, 2015 #3
    The first link shows the direction of E along the line connecting the two charges only. E lines have a certain distribution around the dipole

    but I cannot figure out from that how the second molecule will respond to the first one (as I explained in the question). The second link you posted talks about interaction between dipoles.. what I need to know is in which direction a single water dipole polarizes another molecule (being water or not).
  5. May 19, 2015 #4
    Both water molecules are dipoles. So the dominant term in the interaction will be the one between the permanent dipoles. The induced dipoles will be a higher order correction.
    The figures show the field lines around the dipole. Not just along the axis. These curves are the field lines. The electric field vector is tangent to these field lines, at any point.
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