Distinguish Between Polar & Nonpolar Molecules in Biology

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Polarity has to do with the distribution of electrons in a molecule. Distinguish between polar and nonpolar molecules with help from an experienced science professional in this free video clip.

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Hi, I'm Michael Maidaa and this is distinguishing between polar and non-polar molecules. Polarity has to do with the distribution of electrons in a molecule. For example, in polar molecules we will have an uneven distribution, where one side is much more positive and the other side is much more negative. An example of this in Biology would be water, H2O. In an H2O molecule, we have an oxygen molecule connected to two hydrogen molecules. Oxygen is very electronegative, so it's going to want to pull the electrons from the hydrogen, which are okay being positive. Therefore, we have the electrons being pushed over to the oxygen. Looking at this molecule, one side is much more negative and the other sides are positive. So, this would be considered a polar molecule. On the other hand, non-polar molecules have a fairly even distribution. An example of this would be CO2, where we have a carbon molecule in the middle attached to two oxygen molecules. Although these oxygen molecules are very electronegative, they are both pulling in opposite directions. So, although the carbon is losing electrons, the overall shape of the molecule mixes so the electrons are evenly distributed all the way across. So, to recap, on the top we have an H2O molecule that is polar because of the uneven distribution of electrons. On the bottom, we have a non-polar molecule, CO2, where the electrons are evenly distributed. I'm Michael Maidaa and this has been distinguishing between polar and non-polar molecules.

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