Electric Dipole Moment

A measure of the degree of polarity of a polar molecule. Dipole moment is a vector with magnitude equal to charge separation times the distance between the centres of positive and negative charges.

Chemists point the vector from the positive to the negative pole; physicists point it the opposite way.

Dipole moments are often expressed in units called Debyes.

See also: Debye, Dipole, Electric Charge, Electric Dipole.

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Subjects: Chemistry Physics