Rotation occurs in a bond as long as the orbitals that go to form that bond still overlap when the atoms are rotating. Sigma bonds, with the head-to-head overlap, remain unaffected by rotating the atoms in the bonds. Atoms that are bonded together by only a sigma bond (single bond) exhibit this rotation phenomenon. The π bonds, however, cannot be rotated. The p orbitals must be parallel to each other to form the π bond. If we try to rotate the atoms in a π bond, the p orbitals would no longer have the correct alignment necessary to overlap. Because π bonds are present in double and triple bonds (a double bond is composed of 1 σ and 1 π bond, and a triple bond is always 1 σ and 2 π bonds), the atoms in a double or triple bond cannot rotate (unless the bond is broken).
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