dreams science

Dreams in Science



atom structure configuration
spin nucleus electron
orbit accurate announce
prove cover (2) accomplish
visible evidence hypothesis
award regard breakthrough
test (2) turn out quantum
solve field (2) credit (3)
tail molecule uncover (2)
recall doze off confound
twine gambol progress
twist convince impulse (2)
whirl decade model (3)
nerve pioneer transmission
slip at a loss the back of my mind
setup jot down slip of paper
puzzle decipher in accordance


Dreams Leading to Scientific Breakthroughs

Throughout history, artists, inventors, writers and scientists have solved problems through their dreams. Here are some scientific discoveries attributed to dreams.

1. Niels Bohr: The Structure of The Atom

As a young physicist, Niels Bohr had worked on understanding the structure of the atom, but none of his configurations would fit.

One night while sleeping, he began seeing atoms in a dream. Clearly visible were their nucleus with electrons spinning around it, much as planets orbit around their sun.

Upon awakening, Bohr felt this picture was the answer. But in science, you cannot simply announce an idea to the world without having tested and proved it.

Testing and Experimentation

So he returned to his lab and searched for evidence to support his hypothesis.

He accomplished it, and his model of atomic structure turned out to be one of the greatest breakthroughs of his day.

Awarded the 1922 Nobel Prize for Physics, Bohr is regarded as the father of quantum mechanics.

2. Kekule: The Structure of Benzene

Friedrich August Kekule von Stradonitz was a pioneer in the field of organic chemistry.
Among other things, he is credited with uncovering the structure of the Benzene molecule, something that had been confounding chemists.

But did not make this breakthrough through lab-work alone.

As Kekule later recalled, “I was sitting writing on my textbook, but made no progress. I turned my chair to the fireplace and dozed off . . .

Gamboling, Twining, Twisting

Once again the atoms were gamboling before my eyes. I now saw them coming together in long rows, then all twining and twisting like a snake.

But look! What was that?

One of the snakes had seized hold of its own tail, and the form whirled around.

Circular Structure

As if by a flash of lightning I awoke; and I spent the rest of the night in working out this hypothesis.”

The snake seizing it’s own tail gave Kekule the circular structure idea he needed to solve the Benzene puzzle.

3. Otto Loewi: Nerve Impulses

Otto Loewi (1873-1961) was a German-born American physiologist who discovered the chemical transmission of nerve impulses.

In 1903, scientists believed that nervous impulses were formed by electrical transmission. At this time, Loewi began to think they instead were due to a chemical one.

However he was at a loss on how to prove it. The idea slipped to the back of his mind — until 17 years later when he had the following dream.

17 Years Later

According to Loewi, “One night, I awoke from my sleep, turned on the light and jotted down a few notes from a strange dream I had on a slip of paper . . . then I went back to sleep.

In the morning, I realized that I had written down something most important . . . but I couldn’t decipher it.”

The next night, at 3 o’clock while sleeping, the idea returned. It was the setup of an experiment to test the hypothesis of chemical transmission from 17 years ago.


Loewi immediately got up, went to his laboratory and performed an experiment in accordance to his dream.

It took him a further decade of work to convince the scientific community — but it ultimately resulted in the theory of chemical transmission of the nervous impulse, and Nobel Prize for medicine in 1936.

Your Dreams

These scientific dreams are just a small sample of those that have been recorded. There are hundreds of examples of famous creativity, ideas and discoveries that have been induced or materialized from dreams.

Untold numbers of great writers, poets, musicians, scientists, philosophers and entrepreneurs have had such revealing dreams throughout history.

What discoveries can YOUR dreams tell?

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1. What did Niels Bohr see in his dream? Was there an analogy?

2. He ran outside the next morning and told scientists and professors about his discovery. True or false?

3. Had scientists always believed in one form of neural transmissions or did it change?
What was the previous belief? What did Loewi think?

4. Did he immediately conduct an experiment to test and prove his hypothesis?

5. He continued working and experimenting from 1903 to 1905 until he succeeded. Yes or no?

6. What was his big breakthrough?

7. What was the puzzle that Kekule solved?

8. The structure of benzene came to him in a clear, exact, scientific manner. Is this correct or wrong?

9. Are these problem solving dreams extremely rare cases or have they been fairly common throughout history?


A. Did these revelations in people’s dreams come from an esoteric, “god-like” source; or did they come from the depths of their subconscious?

B. Do you always dream every night? Are they delightful dreams or horrible nightmares or both?

C. Can you remember your dreams later in the day?

D. What sort of answer, solution or discovery would you like your dream to reveal to you?

E. What may happen in the future regarding dreams to solve mysteries and find solutions?


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