How can you tell if there is a dipole moment or not?

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A dipole moment is defined as a measure of the molecular polarity of a compound; the magnitude of the partial charges on the ends of a molecule times the distance between them (in meters).

In order for there to be a dipole moment, the element must have molecular polarity, which results from molecules with a net imbalance of charge (often a result of differences in electro negativity). If the molecule has more than two atoms, both shape and bond polarity determines the molecular polarity.

In general, look for a difference in electro negativity of the elements of a molecule which results in polarity and thus a possible dipole moment. Note that molecular shape influence polarity so molecules with the same elements but a different shape (and vice versa) will not have the same dipole moment.
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