# The direction of electric dipole moment of water molecule

• I
I was watching a video explaining how microwave ovens work when I found that there is a difference between my physics textbook and online images of the electric dipole moment of the water molecule, as well as the one shown in the video.

View attachment 195065

Why do they differ?

## Answers and Replies

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Dale
Mentor
What is the difference?

What is the difference?
The direction shown for the dipole moment is different.

Dale
Mentor
They both show the dipole moment as positive towards the H and negative towards the O. One draws the arrow from positive to negative, but they both are labeled correctly.

The direction shown in your book is the usual one, as is derived from the definition of the dipole moment ## \vec{p}=\sum q \vec{r} ##
where ## \vec{r} ## is the position vector of the charge q.
Why they show it the other way in that video is hard to say, especially without watching the video.

The direction shown in your book is the usual one, as is derived from the definition of the dipole moment ## \vec{p}=\sum q \vec{r} ##
where ## \vec{r} ## is the position vector of the charge q.
Why they show it the other way in that video is hard to say, especially without watching the video.
Where do you place the origins of your coordinate system for drawing ## \vec{r} ## vectors?
Somebody said that the direction of the dipole moment in Physics is reverse than what it is in Chemistry, is it true?
They both show the dipole moment as positive towards the H and negative towards the O. One draws the arrow from positive to negative, but they both are labeled correctly.
Aren't they vectors? So how can we reverse the direction of a vector and not changing it?

One draws the arrow from positive to negative, but they both are labeled correctly.
That is what the OP is asking about, the differently drawn arrows.