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What is the direction of the dipole moment expected for hydrogen bromide?


The HBr molecule is linear (obviously, since it contains only two atoms). The dipole moment is a vector, parallel to the bond, pointing toward the partially positively charged atom, which is, in this case, the hydrogen. The magnitude of the dipole moment is the difference in the partial electrical charges on each atom times the spatial separation of the atoms in the bond. In a molecule with more than two atoms (more than one bond), the dipole moment of each bond must be added vectorially and the resultant vector will determine the dipole moment of the molecule. For instance, carbon dioxide has two carbon-oxygen double bonds of high polarity, but because the molecule is linear, and the individual dipoles oppose each other, the carbon dioxide molecule has no net dipole moment.

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