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Do atoms exist in hybrid form in nature, or do they form hybrid orbitals during molecule formation?

Take methane for example. Does carbon atom exist with $\ce{sp^3}$ hybrid orbitals in nature and then hydrogen forms bond with only $\ce{sp^3}$ carbon atoms? Or does carbon form $\ce{sp^3}$ hybrid orbitals during the formation of $\ce{CH4}$?


marked as duplicate by Gaurang Tandon, permeakra, aventurin, Tyberius, Todd Minehardt Apr 29 '18 at 21:56

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