Q:

What is the difference between a polar molecule and a nonpolar molecule?

A:

The main difference between polar molecules and nonpolar molecules lies in the arrangement of atoms in the molecule. Additionally, polar molecules have an electrical field charge, while nonpolar molecules do not possess an electrical field charge, explains School-For-Champions.com.

In polar molecules, there is a uneven distribution of electrons around the molecule. When one side of the molecule has more atoms, or electrons, than the other side, a positive electrical charge and a negative electrical charge form. In nonpolar molecules, there is an even distribution of electrons around the molecule, so the charges cancel each other. Water is a common example of a polar molecule.

A water molecule is arranged so there are excess electrons around the oxygen molecules and a lack, or deficiency, of charges around the hydrogen molecule. Ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide are a few more examples of polar molecules. Carbon dioxide is a common example of a nonpolar molecule. A molecule of carbon dioxide does not have a charge because the electrons are evenly distributed around the carbon molecule and the oxygen molecules. Gasoline and toluene are a couple of examples of nonpolar liquid molecules. Helium and neon are examples of nonpolar gas molecules.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What is a polar molecule?

    A:

    A polar molecule is a particle consisting of two or more covalently bonded atoms with an asymmetric distribution of charges. This occurs in molecules that are asymmetric along at least one axis when one side contains atoms with a greater electronegativity than the other side. This results in shared electrons spending more time on the side with greater electronegativity, causing that side to have a greater negative charge most of the time.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Is NH3 a polar molecule?

    A:

    According to Elmhurst College, NH3, commonly called ammonia, is polar. Ammonia molecules have a trigonal structure that concentrates its three hydrogen atoms at one end, leaving a partial positive charge at the other end where the nitrogen atom has only one electron present.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Is water a polar molecule?

    A:

    Water is a polar molecule because it possesses a negative point and a positive point in its structure as opposed to a consistent charge throughout. Some other examples of polar molecules are ammonia, sugars and hydrogen fluoride. Polar molecules are defined by having both a negative charge and a positive charge, much like that of a magnet. Molecular polarity is the cause of many chemical phenomena, such as surface tension.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes a molecule to be polar?

    A:

    A molecule is polar if it contains atoms of differing electronegativities arranged asymmetrically around a central atom. This causes an overall partial negative charge on one end of the molecule and an overall partial positive charge on the other end.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore