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Well, this is a rather obvious development (in retrospect, that is). We had an $sp^3$ carbon with tetrahedral bonds, and it made diamond. We had an $sp^2$ carbon with trigonal bonds, and it made graphite. What if we just had a linear $sp$ carbon? Such thoughts have been around for more than quite a while. Theorists swarmed around that non-existent tree. No ...

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