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Homework Help: What is "polarizability"

  1. Sep 30, 2014 #1
    Not really homework help - I'm studying for a chemistry test on chemical bonding, and I need some answers!

    What exactly is the polarizability of a molecule? Can someone explain it to me in more simpler terms? My book is using arcane language that I can't really understand it. What is polarizability's effects on the intermolecular forces between molecules?

    My book says "The strength of the dispersion force depends on the ease of which the charge distribution in a molecule can be distorted to induce an instantaneous dipole. The ease with which a charge distribution is distorted is called the molecule's polarizability."

    I'm having trouble understand what that sentence is saying

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 30, 2014 #2
    You may find this helpful: http://chemwiki.ucdavis.edu/Physica...c_Theory/Intermolecular_Forces/Polarizability
    It's essentially the ease in which the electron cloud of a neutral molecule can be distorted in order to produce a dipole moment.
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