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Topic: Why does diatomic carbon have two pi bonds?  (Read 1073 times)

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Offline Capital

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Why does diatomic carbon have two pi bonds?
« on: December 11, 2012, 06:51:16 PM »
Using the molecular bond theory, the MO configuration for carbon is σ2s^2, σ*2s^2, pi2p^4

The bond order is then (4+2-2)/2 = 2. (double bond)

I thought when there is a double bond, there is always one sigma and one pi bond but why are both bonds in diatomic carbon pi?

I'm specifically wondering why the p orbitals would produce two pi bonds instead of a sigma and a pi bond. Why are the p orbitals sideways overlapped?
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 07:18:40 PM by Capital »

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