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August Kekulé, German Organic Chemist
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Friedrich August Kekulé von Stradonitz (1829-1896) was a German organic chemist. He was one of the most prominent chemists in Europe, especially in theoretical chemistry. Kekulé was the principal formulator of the theory of chemical structure which proceeds from the idea of atomic valence, especially the tetravalence of carbon (1857) and the ability of carbon atoms to link to each other (18578 to the determination of the bonding order of all of the atoms in a molecule. For organic chemists, the theory of structure provided dramatic new clarity of understanding, and a reliable guide to both analytic and especially synthetic work. As a consequence, the field of organic chemistry developed explosively from this point. Kekulé's most famous work was on the structure of benzene. In 1895 Kekulé was ennobled by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, giving him the right to add "von Stradonitz" to his name. The lived to the age of 66. Three of his students won Nobel Prizes van 't Hoff in 1901, Fischer in 1902 and Baeyer in 1905.
March 7th, 2013
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