Imagination paves the Way towards Discovery- Story of Kekule’s Dream


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It is the nineteenth century. Science is in its infant stage. Therefore, people around the world are living a primitive life. But, the world witnesses most of the scientific discoveries in this period. This era records most of the inventions.

Friedrich August Kekule is a German chemist. A scientist. He is working on chemical structure. Structures of organic molecules. How atoms of carbon forms molecules. Molecules & compounds. Hence, he is trying to find out the shape & structure of the molecules.

Kekule is sitting on a chair. He tries to write something. But, unable to proceed further. Because his mind is thinking about a problem. The structure of C6H6 is a big challenge. His thoughts are lost over this problem.

Kekule’s dream

He closes his eyes. Starts dreaming. Thus, mind lost in imaginations. He is a daydreamer. His dream is about the atoms. Hence, atoms are dancing. Sometimes, the carbon atoms form a string or a chain. Sometimes the chain twist like a snake. A snake roaming here & there. And, the snake now starts eating its own tail. Thus, a snake seizing its own tail. Snake forming a circle.

He suddenly wakes up. This dream gives him an idea. The idea about the structure of molecule C6H6. The structure is a big challenge. But, now Kekule finds a solution. The structure must be cyclic. Just as a serpent seizing its own tail. Hence, he finds the structure of benzene (C6H6). Thus, benzene is a six-carbon ring. A ring with alternate single & double bonds.

Thus, his dream helps him. Helps to find the structure of benzene. This is an old & famous story. But, it is interesting.

Poets dreams, Artist & philosophers dreams. But, scientists also dreams. Hence, imagination is more important than knowledge. It paves the way towards knowledge.


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