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Why are sigma and pi bonds drawn differently?

Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:53 pm
by 005199750
At this point, I understand how to draw sigma and pi bonds in a diagram. But why are sigma bonds drawn so that the two areas of electron density overlap, while pi bonds are drawn so that the two areas of electron density are parallel and spaced apart (with a line connecting the two areas)? What does this represent? Why must these two types of bonds be differentiated in this way?

Re: Why are sigma and pi bonds drawn differently?

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:09 am
by timothy_ho_4B
Sigma bonds are specifically for single bonds, and they overlap as they do to show that they can rotate without the bonds breaking. Pi bonds are for the second and third bonds on double and triple bonds respectively. These bonds are parallel to each other and overlap side to side to show that the bonds cannot be rotated and thus are rigid.