Friedrich August Kekulé – mýty a realita

  • M. Novák Ústav učitelství a humanitních věd, Vysoká škola chemicko-technologická v Praze, Praha
Klíčová slova: strukturní teorie organických látek, benzen, katenace, Kekulého sny, vliv snění na kreativitu, A. S. Couper, J. Loschmidt


130 years ago, an unusual festivity called Benzolfest took place in Berlin to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Kekulé's discovery of the benzene structure. From Kekulé's speech a myth originated: cyclic structure of benzene and catenation of carbon atoms occurred to him in his dreams. For psychologists and philosophers these dreams became a frequently used example of connection between dreaming and creativity. By a detailed examination of circumstances of these dreams it seems likely they did not happen on the mentioned dates and at the mentioned places or perhaps did not happen at all. That would lead to the situation where all psychological and philosophical studies based on these dreams are incorrect. As Kekulé's discovery of the benzene structure – another myth – can easily be disproved, it means that a nonexistent affair was celebrated at the Benzolfest.