A dipole is a separation of charges, as in the case of some molecules. In a covalent bond between the two atoms the electron pair is not necessarily equally shared between them. In hydrogen chloride (HCl), the electrons are attracted toward the more electronegative chlorine atom, giving it a partial negative charge and leaving an equal positive charge on the hydrogen atom. Such dipoles contribute to the the chemical properties of molecules.


Magnetic substances have dipoles consisting of north and south poles; they may be ordered or disordered to give strong or weak magnetic properties.


Dipole moment

An electric dipole is a pair of equal and opposite electric charges a short distance apart. All ordinary manifestations of magnetism are the result of magnetic dipoles, whether these arise in the context of permanent magnets or electromagnets. In either case, the dipole moment is a vector quantity descriptive of the dipole. Atomic nuclei and asymmetric molecules often exhibit dipole or other multipole properties.