Problem: Both of the carbon-oxygen double bonds in CO 2 are polar. In which direction should the polarity arrows point? a. Rightb. Leftc. Toward the central carbon atomd. Away from central carbon atomIn a covalent bond between two atoms, the more electronegative atom will attract more electron density toward itself, causing a polar bond. The more electronegative element is the negative pole, whereas the less electronegative element is the positive pole. The direction of the dipole is always toward the more electronegative element. This is often indicated by an arrow, as shown in the figure. The magnitude of the bond polarity is the difference in electronegativity values of the atoms. For example, in the molecule Cl2, the Cl−Cl bond is nonpolar because there is no difference in electronegativity between two atoms of the same element. In the ClBr molecule, however, the Cl−Br bond is polar because Cl and Br have different electronegativity values. A Cl−I bond would be more polar than a Cl−Br bond because there is a greater electronegativity difference between Cl and I than between Cl and Br.

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Problem Details

Both of the carbon-oxygen double bonds in CO 2 are polar. In which direction should the polarity arrows point? 

a. Right

b. Left

c. Toward the central carbon atom

d. Away from central carbon atom


In a covalent bond between two atoms, the more electronegative atom will attract more electron density toward itself, causing a polar bond. The more electronegative element is the negative pole, whereas the less electronegative element is the positive pole. The direction of the dipole is always toward the more electronegative element. This is often indicated by an arrow, as shown in the figure. The magnitude of the bond polarity is the difference in electronegativity values of the atoms. For example, in the molecule Cl2, the Cl−Cl bond is nonpolar because there is no difference in electronegativity between two atoms of the same element. In the ClBr molecule, however, the Cl−Br bond is polar because Cl and Br have different electronegativity values. A Cl−I bond would be more polar than a Cl−Br bond because there is a greater electronegativity difference between Cl and I than between Cl and Br.

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