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Meaning, Differences & Proper Usage of Polar vs NonPolar

by shreyasi datta

Did you, by any chance, hear your friend talking about polar vs nonpolar molecules, and now you are wondering what it means? Well, you are in the right place then. In this article, we will give you the definition, meaning, and difference between Polar vs Nonpolar. So keep on reading!

Polar Vs. Nonpolar: Meaning & Difference  

The terms Polar and nonpolar are most commonly used to describe the different types of covalent bonds or molecules. Covalent bonds are formed by the sharing of electrons between atoms.

Polar Vs. Nonpolar

A polar bond or molecule has an uneven distribution of charge, which means that one end is slightly positive, and the other end is slightly negative. This happens when the atoms have different electronegativities, which measure how strongly they attract electrons. A polar bond or molecule has a dipole moment, which is a measure of its polarity.

A nonpolar bond or molecule is one that has an equal or symmetrical distribution of charge, which means that there is no net positive or negative charge. This happens when the atoms have the same or similar electronegativities, which means they share electrons equally. A nonpolar bond or molecule has no dipole moment, which means it is not polar.

Some examples of polar and nonpolar bonds and molecules are:

  • Water (H2O) is a polar molecule. This is because the oxygen atom in H2O is more electronegative compared to the hydrogen atoms. As a result, it pulls the electrons closer to itself. This leads to the creation of a partial negative charge on the oxygen and a partial positive charge on the hydrogens.
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a nonpolar molecule. This is because the carbon and oxygen atoms present in CO2 have similar electronegativities, so they share electrons equally. The molecule is also symmetrical, so the two polar bonds cancel each other out. Carbon dioxide has no dipole moment.”

Polar: Definition & When To Use The Word  

The word polar has different meanings depending on the context. Here are some possible meanings:

  • The term Polar is used to refer to the North or South Pole or the areas around them. For example: “The polar ice caps are melting due to global warming.”
  • Another meaning of Polar is having opposite or very different opinions, interests, or qualities. For example: “The novel deals with polar opposite themes of love and hate.”
  • Polar can mean relating to one or more poles of a magnet or a battery, which have opposite charges. For example: “A compass needle is a polar object that aligns with the Earth’s magnetic field.”
  • The term Polar is used when talking about a dipole or molecules that have positive and negative ends. For example: “Water is a polar molecule because the oxygen atom is more electronegative than the hydrogen atoms.”
  • Polar also means a type of coordinate system that uses angles and distances from a fixed point. For example: “Polar coordinates are useful for describing circular or spiral shapes.”

Example Sentences  

Here are a few example sentences with the word polar:

  • The polar ice caps are melting at an alarming rate due to global warming.
  • The polar bear is well adapted to survive in the harsh Arctic environment.
  • I had to wear multiple layers to stay warm in the polar climate.
  • The explorers embarked on a daring expedition to the polar regions.
  • The magnetic compass needle points towards the Earth’s magnetic pole, indicating the north and south polar regions.
  • The polar vortex caused a severe cold wave, bringing frigid temperatures to the region.
  • The polar opposites of hot and cold create a stark contrast.
  • The polar night in the Arctic lasts for several months, with no sunlight during that time.
  • The polar expedition encountered treacherous icebergs and freezing temperatures.
  • The polar bear’s white fur helps it blend in with the snowy landscape.

NonPolar: Definition & When To Use The Word  

As explained above, the term nonpolar refers to a type of covalent bonds or molecules that have no separation of charge. This means that there is no net positive or negative charge. In addition, nonpolar molecules tend to dissolve well in nonpolar solvents, which are frequently organic solvents. Some examples of nonpolar molecules include carbon dioxide, methane, and noble gases.

Here are a few examples of sentences with the word Non-Polar

  • Nonpolar molecules do not have a separation of positive and negative charges.
  • Oil is a nonpolar substance that does not mix with water.
  • The nonpolar covalent bond is formed when electrons are shared equally between atoms.
  • In chemistry, nonpolar solvents are commonly used to dissolve nonpolar solutes.
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a nonpolar molecule composed of two oxygen atoms bonded to a carbon atom.
  • Nonpolar compounds are often insoluble in water but dissolve well in nonpolar solvents.
  • The nonpolar nature of helium gas allows it to escape easily from a container.
  • The nonpolar tail of a phospholipid molecule repels water molecules.
  • Nonpolar molecules tend to have lower boiling points compared to polar molecules.
  • The nonpolar nature of the molecule contributes to its inability to form hydrogen bonds.

Hopefully, you now have a clear understanding of the terms Polar vs NonPolar molecules.

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