August 15, 2009

Serendipity

The word has become very popular in usage after it was coined by Walpole. Serendipity means accidental discovery of something. A scientist is working on the synthesis of a particular compound he has in his mind but discovers an entirely new product. This is called serendipity. Discovery of penicillin by Dr.Alexander Fleming is the example of serendipity. He forgot to disinfect cultures of bacteria when going for long vacations, only to find them contaminated with molds of Penicillium which had killed the bacteria. There are ample number of other examples of serendipity which can be found in different spheres of… Read More »Serendipity

Dream of Kekule:Benzene

Continuing the subject of dreams, it is pertinent to mention that lucid dreams had helped many to make great discoveries and inventions. Since my subject is chemistry, I will touch upon one such famous dream which laid the foundation for understanding the structure and chemistry of  aromatic compounds. As every one versed with chemistry knows, the benzene is the starting compound of aromatic compounds. Its structure was derived by Kukule’. His full name was Friedrich August Kekulé von Stradonitz. Benzene was analyzed to have 6 carbon and 6 hydrogen atoms. Existing formula of all the organic compounds did not fit… Read More »Dream of Kekule:Benzene