107. Dreamy Discoveries

More discoveries are done in dreams than the “world could dream of!” Do you know why? Dreams make use of our fullest knowledge and experience. They can make use of the facts, which we are not aware of knowing, when we are awake!

Dreaming allows us to tap the hidden knowledge when we seek a solution to a problem. People want “to sleep on a problem” before they make am important decision, since they are sure to find the answer in their dreams.

The story of the Benzene ring is very popular. Benzene is a clear, colorless, highly refractive and inflammable organic liquid. It is derived from petroleum and is used in the manufacture of a number of chemical products.

It is an organic compound with 6 carbon and 6 hydrogen atoms, in it molecule. Carbon can form four chemical bonds while hydrogen can form only one bond. The structure of benzene eluded the scientist for a very long time–since they could not satisfy all the chemical bonds, when they imagined the structure of benzene along a straight line.

German Chemist Friedrich August Kekule spent sleepless nights over this problem. One night he dreamt of a snake. It was going round and round for a while and suddenly grabbed its own tail in its mouth to form a ring.

The Solution dawned immediately on Kekule that structure of benzene was in the form of a ring and not along a straight line. A Hexagonal diagram with a carbon atom in each vertex (attached to a hydrogen atom) and alternate single and double bonds between the six carbon atoms satisfied all the rules correctly. Thus the puzzle of the benzene ring was solved in a dream.

Russian chemist Dimitri Mandeleev found his famous “Periodic Table of the Elements” in one of his dreams.

The American inventor Elias Howe had worked hard for years to perfect the design of his sewing machine. But success came only after he dreamt that he had been ordered on pain of death –to finish his machine!

Dreams can work wonders—if only we know how to utilize them.

Visalakshi Ramani

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