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What exactly is important for us to know when it comes to differentiating between sigma and pi bonds? I understand that sigma bonds are known as every first bond between two atoms, and a pi bond is every second or third bond, etc between two atoms. In lecture we were taught that sigma bonds are when two orbitals interact end-to-end and pi bonds are when two orbitals overlap side-by-side. That concept is just a little bit confusing. Is there any other way to differentiate between the two types of bonds?
The main point of difference is that sigma bonds involve end-on overlapping of orbitals while pi bonds involve side-ways overlapping of orbitals. It might be easier to imagine it as sigma bonds having the electron density along the internuclear axis and pi bonds having their electron density above and below the internuclear axis.
sigma bonds are end to end interactions that allow the atom to rotate around the internuclear axis while pi bonds are overlapping side by side bonding that does not allow atoms to rotate. There can only be one sigma bond between two atoms while there can be additional pi bonds.
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