There’s a brief review of benzene in a recent article in the Hamilton (Ontario) Spectator, discussing some aspects of its sources, uses, and risks.

This brings to mind the famous story of how the chemist Kekulé realized, in a dreaming state, that benzene’s properties could be explained by a ring structure.  As recounted by Aisling Ireland in BellaOnline:

Kekulé claims that he stopped writing and dozed off to sleep. He saw atoms whirling and dancing before his eyes. The atoms then began to reassemble themselves into long rows that seemed to move about in a snake-like motion. As he watched the snake dance, the vision progressed until the snake formed itself into an image he had seen years before … : the snake devouring its own tail.

It’s an interesting story, commonly known among chemists, which was quoted in my organic chemistry text, years back.  It appears the story is popular among dream aficionados, as well.


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