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It has long been known that such compounds as acetoacetic ester, benzoyl acetone, acetyl acetone, acetone dicarboxylic ether, malonic ester or, in other words, bodies which contain the CO.CH2.CO group gave conflicting reactions, sometimes acting as if the group CO.CH2.CO were present. Phloroglucinol while formerly accepted as a hydroxyl compound has lately been included amongst the previous examples for reasons that will be brought out later. Laar considered that there was one substance doing duty for two structural isomers and gave to this phenomenon the name tautomerism, and accounted for the peculiarity by the mobility or shifting of a hydrogen atom.
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