What is polar, non polar solvent?

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Solvents can be broadly classified into two categories: polar and non-polar. Generally, the dielectric constant of the solvent provides a rough measure of a solvent's polarity. Solvents with a dielectric constant of less than 15 are generally considered non polar. Technically, the dielectric constant measures the solvent's ability to reduce the field strength of the electric field surrounding a charged particle immersed in it. This reduction is then compared to the field strength of the charged particle in a vacuum.In laymen's terms, dielectric constant of a solvent can be thought of as its ability to reduce the solute's internal charge.The polarity, dipole moment, polarizability and hydrogen bonding of a solvent determines what type of compounds it is able to dissolve and with what other solvents or liquid compounds it is miscible. As a rule of thumb, polar solvents dissolve polar compounds best and non-polar solvents dissolve non-polar compounds best: "like dissolves like". more
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