Why is the net dipole moment of carbon dioxide equal to zero? And what is the partial charge of carbon in co2? Is it +2 because it forms two polar bonds or if they cancel the effect of each other due to their linear stereo structure then is it +1? What is the relation between being linear and having +1 partial charge? (my book says it have +1 and I couldn't understand why as I believe it is +2 because it forms 2 polar bonds so it has +1 from each oxygen atom)

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    $\begingroup$ it's zero because of symmetry, the dipole moments of the C-O bonds point in equal and opposite directions. The partial charge of carbon is not +1, most likely the book says its partial positive, i.e. not an integer. The oxygens are partial negative because they are more electronegative, and therefore there are two dipole moments pointing from the carbon to each oxygen. $\endgroup$
    – Cody Aldaz
    Apr 21, 2020 at 19:40
  • $\begingroup$ Then carbon must have +2 partial charges $\endgroup$
    – Eman
    Apr 21, 2020 at 19:58
  • $\begingroup$ sure if you want to think about it that way, it is twice as more partially positive than the oxygen will be negative. it would not make sense to have two partial positive signs since they don't represent integers and it's not always the case that the partial charge signs are exact multiples of one another. $\endgroup$
    – Cody Aldaz
    Apr 21, 2020 at 20:03
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  • $\begingroup$ Does this answer your question? Why does a tetrahedral molecule like methane have a dipole moment of zero? $\endgroup$
    – Cody Aldaz
    Apr 21, 2020 at 20:11


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