Organichemica
Basic Organic Chemistry

A Tutorial

Dave Woodcock ©2001
Okanagan University College

OUC Home Page Chem Home Page
Level 1

Glossary

D

Main Index
Glossary Index


diatomic molecules

Molecules containing two atoms, such as H2, O2, HF, etc.
A homonuclear diatomic molecule is one in which the two atoms are the same. Examples N2, F2.
In an heteronuclear diatomic molecule the two atoms are different. Examples CO, NO.

dipole, dipole moment

When the centres of positive and negative charge do not coincide in a molecule, there is a resultant charge separation called a dipole. The dipoles give rise to a force known as a dipole moment. This force is a vector (i.e. it is directional) along the line between the two charge centres. The higher the charges and the greater the distance between them the greater is the dipole moment. In molecules dipoles lead to attraction between the molecules, the larger the dipole moment, the greater the attractive force between molecules. See also van der Waals forces.

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page upkeep: Dave.
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