Lecture 24 - Determining Chemical Structure by Isomer Counting (1869)
recorded by: Yale University
published: June 10, 2010, recorded: October 2008, views: 2519
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Half a century before direct experimental observation became possible, most structures of organic molecules were assigned by inspired guessing based on plausibility. But Wilhelm Körner developed a strictly logical system for proving the structure of benzene and its derivatives based on isomer counting and chemical transformation. His proof that the six hydrogen positions in benzene are equivalent is the outstanding example of this chemical logic but was widely ignored because, in Palermo, he was far from the seats of chemical authority.
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