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“It’s super important that people realise that although we’re taught carbon can only have four friends, carbon can be associated with more than four atoms,” chemist Dean Tantillo from the University of California, Davis, who wasn’t part of the study, told Science News.
So here’s what happened:
|image credit: Jynto/Wikimedia|
|Moritz Malischewski & Konrad Seppelt|
“In this arrangement, there are six electrons available to connect the top of the pyramid to the five carbons in the rest of the ring and the extra arm, Rebecca Boyle reports for New Scientist.
“One carbon atom jumped out of the ring and took a new position on top, turning the flat hexagonal ring into a five-sided carbon pyramid,” Laurel Hamers reports for Science News.
“And the carbon on top of the pyramid was indeed bonded to six other carbons – five in the ring below, and one above.”
“The carbon isn’t making six bonds in the sense that we usually think of a carbon-carbon bond as a two-electron bond,” Tantillo told Hamers, because fewer electrons have to be shared between the six bonds.