How to know if a mulecule is polar or nonpolar

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In summary, the conversation discusses the concept of polarity in molecules, specifically comparing carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). The general theory is that the partial charges in a molecule determine its polarity, with an asymmetrical molecule like H2O being polar and a symmetrical molecule like CO2 being nonpolar. The conversation also references a helpful resource on how to use subscripts and refers to a Wikipedia page for further information on chemical polarity.
  • #1
transgalactic
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Co_2

h_2o
 
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  • #2
it would be easier to read your posts if you used the subscripts and other helpful parts. here's a link:

www.physicsforums.com-misc-howtolatex.pdf[/URL]
 
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  • #3
what is the general theory??
 
  • #4
well you find the partial charges and if one side is more charged (i.e H2O) then its a polar molecule
 
  • #5
If you compare the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide" you will see that CO2 is symmetrical whereas H20 is asymmetrical. This is what leads to the imbalance in charge.
 
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  • #7
link2110 said:
well since u like wiki so much here's a wiki post talking bout polarity

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_polarity

Well, Wiki was my choice, not the OP's, and I am merely referring to it to show the diagram of the molecules. Even Wiki couldn't screw that up...
 
  • #8
lol
well i can't explain it better than to say that the angle of the bonding affects the polarity
 

Related to How to know if a mulecule is polar or nonpolar

1. How can I determine the polarity of a molecule?

The polarity of a molecule can be determined by looking at its molecular structure and the distribution of its bonds. If the molecule has a symmetrical shape and all the bonds are nonpolar, it is likely to be nonpolar. However, if the molecule has an asymmetrical shape and contains polar bonds, it is likely to be polar.

2. What is the difference between polar and nonpolar molecules?

Polar molecules have an uneven distribution of charge due to their polar bonds, causing one end of the molecule to have a partial negative charge and the other end to have a partial positive charge. Nonpolar molecules have an even distribution of charge and do not have any polar bonds.

3. How does electronegativity affect the polarity of a molecule?

Electronegativity is the measure of an atom's ability to attract electrons towards itself in a chemical bond. The greater the difference in electronegativity between two atoms, the more polar the bond between them will be. This can contribute to the overall polarity of a molecule.

4. Can a molecule be partially polar?

Yes, a molecule can be partially polar if it has both polar and nonpolar bonds. The overall polarity of the molecule will depend on the strength and direction of the polar bonds and the molecular structure.

5. Why is it important to know the polarity of a molecule?

Knowing the polarity of a molecule is important in understanding its physical and chemical properties. Polar molecules tend to interact with other polar molecules, while nonpolar molecules interact with other nonpolar molecules. This can affect the solubility, boiling point, and reactivity of a molecule.

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