Question #8fcec

1 Answer
Apr 2, 2017

An electric dipole moment consists of a pair of point charges, each with the opposite charge and located so close together the distance is almost immeasurable.


A point charge is a tiny particle called a point particle that carries a positive or negative electric charge. These are not the smallest particles discovered so far, but they are small enough to have no measurable dimension. Examples of point charges are protons and electrons.

Where a pair of point particles with opposite charges are held very close together an electric dipole moment is formed. At the atomic level an electric dipole consists of a positive and negative particle separated by a finite but very tiny distance.

Electric dipoles occur on a larger scale that we can see as radio and television antennas. They operate as dipoles to send or collect electromagnetic radio waves that can be transmitted or received as sound, pictures or telemetry.

Because these two points are oppositely charged (similar to a magnet North/South) they will react with other particles and electromagnetic fields. It is the tendency to react that gives the electric dipole its moment so the two point charges together become an electric dipole moment. The moment will result in the dipole aligning itself in the direction of the field applied to it.