Great Scientists : Friedrich August Kekule was a German chemist who determined the valence of Carbon

Great Scientists : Friedrich August Kekule was a German chemist who determined the valence of Carbon

Friedrich August KekuleFriedrich August Kekule is the main reason behind the popularity of Organic chemistry.   He belonged to Germany. Atoms and Valency bonds are to Chemistry what bricks and cement are to construction.  Kekule determined the chemical structure of atoms and thus helped for the development of chemistry.  It is a wonder that his dreams also came to his use in research.

Carbon atom plays an important role in Organic Chemistry.  Kekule could analyze how Carbon combines with other elements and produces various substances.  Other scientists could understand the changes in atoms in chemical reactions due to his experiments.  And thus Analytical Chemistry and Synthetic Organic Chemistry are born.

Kekule is born on 7th September, 1829 in Darmstadt, Germany.  He studied Architecture as per the suggestion of his father.  Later he developed interest in Physics and got his doctorate by 23 years of age.  He worked in the London University without any salary.  He took his responsibilities as professor and continued his research in Organic Chemistry.

Valency is a measure of the number of chemical bonds formed by the atoms of a given element and the bond is called the valency bond.  This is very important to know the atomic chemical structure of an atom.  One day while travelling by a bus, Kekule dreamt of Carbon atoms revolving around each other in closed chains like forms.  Later in his experiments it was proved that Carbon atoms form closed chains not only with each other but also with other elements.  This enabled to understand the atomic bonds in three dimensional forms.  But deriving the atomic structure of Benzene was a challenge for him.  One day he slept thinking about the chemical structure of Benzene.  A snake appeared in his dream catching its own tail with its moth.  This gave Kekule an idea about the atomic structure of Benzene.  Later on his experiments were the basis for finding out the structure of DNA and inventing the periodic table.

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