'Today in Chemistry History' graphic on August Kekule, born on 7 September 1829. Kekule is best known for his work on the structure of benzene; he depicted the benzene ring as a flat molecule with alternating single and double bonds between carbon atoms. We now know that benzene has a delocalised structure which means that all of the carbon-carbon bonds are the same length.
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Today marks the anniversary of the birth of August Kekulé, most famous for his proposed structure for the benzene molecule. This graphic looks at his structure and its limitations and shows how later work improved upon his initial proposal.

More detail on the limitations of Kekulé’s structure, and how Lonsdale’s structure solved these, can be found on ChemGuide’s pages here and here. There’s more on Kekulé and how he dreamt up the structure of benzene in Chemistry World, who also have a detailed article on Kathleen Lonsdale’s life and chemistry contributions.

View more posts on chemistry history on the category page.

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