Monday, April 11, 2016

The Benzene Molecule

The archetypal hydrocarbon

As an initiation, and as a first test post, I offer to the internet this beautiful mystery of organic chemistry - a hydrocarbon.

This is a visual representation of the benzene molecule by data scientist David Gunther. It is perfectly radially symmetrical, the most perfectly-formed of all the organic molecules, and in fact the name from which all ring-structure molecules are named - The Aromatics.

The smell of benzene is distinct. In some places of the world, gasoline is called benzene. It is the quintessential hydrogen carbon bond, a perfect, if transient, product of molecular mathematics. The molecules bond with each other in a ring, making it an isometry of the mythological uroborous, the snake that eats its own tail. This carbon-ring structure of the benzene molecule was discovered by August Kekule in the 19th century, brought to him in a hypnotic state of repose, as chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms danced in his head. Nostradamus was the first to isolate the benzene molecule, and from his own urine. Check my sources on that, I think I'm making it up.

But as for the picture above, it is a data map of the position of the molecules. The hydrogen-carbon bond is transient, dynamic. The molecules are forever dancing, in a quantum superposition, and hence the smeared visual effects of this graphic. Thanks to David Gunther for this beauty, and if only Kekule could see it!

And so we're off to a good ramble, just to get things started. I'd like to give thanks to this webspace for allowing me to populate herein. Onward.

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