What causes dipole moment?

1 Answer
Nov 15, 2015

The movement of charge.


Dipoles are caused when the positive and negative charges in an atom move to opposite ends. This means that at one end of the atom or molecule, there is a higher concentration of positive charge, and at the other end, there is a higher concentration of negative charge.

An example of a molecule with a dipole moment is water, or #H_2O#. The positive charges are on the hydrogen atoms, anf denoted by the symbol #delta^+#, and the negative charge is on the oxygen atom, #O_2#, and denoted by the symbol #delta^(2-)#, because the oxygen atom has a charge of -2.