Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Permanent dipoles in molecules

  1. Aug 18, 2014 #1
    As I understand, when an electric field is applied to an atom then the nucleus and electron cloud will be shifted out of balance giving rise to an electric dipole moment. Some molecules have permanent dipole moments though,
    e.g. Hydrogen Chloride,

    ". . . when a hydrogen chloride molecule is formed, the chemical bonding leads to a net shift of the electron cloud from the hydrogen atom to the chlorine atom . . .This leaves the hydrogen end of the molecule with a deficit of negative charge, and the chlorine end has an excess of negative charge . . . The result is a permanent electric dipole moment"

    I have only just scratched the surface of permanent dipoles in my study of electromagnetism, but if a molecule has a permanent electric dipole moment are there any physical properties that can be attributed to it when on a grand scale.
    i.e. does it make it more slippery, give it texture or . . . anything else.

    Idle curiosity from me but I'd love to know.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 18, 2014 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Good question, The answer is yes - and no.

    Yes - there are properties of the substances that arise from their dipole moment, no, they are not easily related to physical properties of the kind you have mentioned.

    Liquids with a high dipole moment of molecules tend to dissolve well ionic substances (or substances with a high dipole moment, we call them "polar solvents" and "polar substances"). Also in general the higher the dipole moment of molecules, the higher the permittivity of the substance.
  4. Aug 19, 2014 #3
    Perhaps I can make this a thesis for my Doctorate (if I ever get over A-Levels =)))
  5. Aug 19, 2014 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Too late for that, that's one of these thing that have been researched to death in the last 100 years.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted

Similar Discussions: Permanent dipoles in molecules
  1. Dipole-Dipole Force (Replies: 0)

  2. Polarity of a molecule (Replies: 3)