# dipole moment

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Related to dipole moment: electric dipole moment, Molecular dipole moment

## Dipole moment

A mathematical quantity characteristic of a dipole unit equal to the product of one of its charges times the vector distance separating the charges. The dipole moment μ associated with a distribution of

()

electric charges *q*is given by where

_{i}**r**

_{i}is the vector to the charge

*q*. For systems with a net charge (for example, positive), the origin is taken at the mean position of the positive charges (and vice versa). Dipole moments have the dimensions coulomb-meters. Molecular dipole moments were previously expressed in debye units, where 1 debye = 3.336 × 10

_{i}^{-30}C · m.

*See*Dipole

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Physics. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

## dipole moment

[′dī‚pōl ‚mō·mənt] (electricity)

(electromagnetism)

(physical chemistry)

The vector sum of the bond moments in a molecule, a measure of the polarity of the molecule.

McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.