light.At this point, the stars began to distort, and young Einstein saw amazing colors and patterns. He later said that his entire scientific career was related to that dream. The chemist Friedrich August Kekulé von Stradonitz is said to have come up with the ring-shaped structure of benzene (an industrial chemical used to make plastics, synthetic fibers, detergents, drugs, and pesticides) when dream- ing of a snake eating its own tail. A dream of a day at the races led physicist Niels Bohr to come up with the structure of the atom. Larry Page, one of Google’s founders, said the idea for the search engine came to him in a dream he had in college. As he snoozed, Page pictured himself downloading the entire Internet into computers that were lying around. When he awoke, he stayed up a few hours, jot- ting down his concept. The dream eventually became the search engine Google.

Learn more about why we dream.

Using an electroencephalogram (EEG) with wires taped to a sleeping person’s head, researchers were able to identify the various stages of sleep.



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