How does a magnetic field affect the aggregation of nonpolar molecules in water?

In summary, the conversation discusses the interactions between polar and non-polar molecules, specifically in the context of a thin wax in water. It is noted that the entropy of water plays a significant role in the aggregation of nonpolar molecules, and that the use of a magnetic field may have an effect on the surface tension of the water-wax boundary. Further research is suggested to investigate the electrostrictive properties of water and its potential impact on surface tension.
  • #1
I'm an undergrad biochemistry major at a state university in NY (I've tried the chemistry forums already) trying to understand more about interactions between polar and non-polar molecules. Say I have a thin wax in water, we are taught that the entropy of the reordering of water contributes more to the aggregation of nonpolar molecules than their own affinity for each other (hydrophobic effect) so basically the dipoles of water act as an external force that compresses nonpolar molecules together around clathrage or solvation cages (reordering of water molecules to fit nonpolar substance while increasing entropy) This has me thinking, most nonpolar molecules contain van der waals forces that are derived from polarizable electron clouds that fluctuate depending on their immediate environment. So let's say I apply a magnetic field to water so that all the dipoles are reinforced in the same direction, would I have to determine the charge vector on each atom and add them all up to find the net effect on the nonpolar molecule (thin wax)? Any direction or advice is appreciated.
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  • #2
With regard to using a magnetic field, keep in mind that it affects the magnetic dipole which is different from the electric dipole you are referring to earlier. Assuming you meant to introduce an electrostatic field instead then I'd have to say...
...firstly that I don't know. Your description of the effective force on the small hydrophobic material would seem to me to be effectively the surface tension of the water at the water-wax boundary which is not lessened (relative to say water-air) since the wax is non-polar. My first line of investigation would be to see if water has any electrostrictive property in general and then if there is an electrostrictive effect on the surface tension.

This, by the way, sounds like an interesting line of physics research that could be carried out at a small university or undergraduate institution. Hmmm...

Related to How does a magnetic field affect the aggregation of nonpolar molecules in water?

1. What is a dipole?

A dipole is a molecule or atom that has a separation of positive and negative charges within it. This separation creates a positive end and a negative end, similar to the poles of a magnet.

2. How is a dipole different from an induced dipole?

A dipole is a permanent separation of charges, while an induced dipole is a temporary separation of charges that occurs when a nonpolar molecule is exposed to an electric field.

3. How do dipoles and induced dipoles interact?

Dipoles and induced dipoles can interact through a process called dipole-dipole interaction. This occurs when the positive end of one dipole is attracted to the negative end of another dipole, creating a weak bond between the two molecules.

4. What is the significance of dipoles and induced dipoles in chemistry?

Dipoles and induced dipoles play a crucial role in many chemical reactions and physical properties of substances. They can influence the strength of intermolecular forces, solubility, and boiling points of molecules.

5. How can dipoles and induced dipoles be used in practical applications?

Dipoles and induced dipoles have various practical applications, such as in the production of liquid crystals for LCD screens, the separation of mixtures through chromatography, and in the creation of synthetic fibers and plastics.

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