Loschmidt and Venn

Symbolic Logic in Chemistry and Mathematics
  • Ian D. Rae


The circle is a universal symbol of wholeness or perfection. It may represent the cycle of minutes and hours, as in a clock, or of the seasons as depicted in a calendar. Inevitably the cyclic nature of the representation conveys a sense of timelessness — time without end. In religious symbolism the circle is variously the earth, the heavens or a heavenly body like the sun or the moon. In the Christian tradition the circle is most often associated with the cross, although three interlocking circles may be used to denote the trinity. These are powerful symbols of closure or enclosure and they find their way into everyday language when we speak of someone who is ‘part of our circle’ or ‘moves in the right circles.’ We may even speak of an ‘inner circle’ as denoting special status or privilege, such as that attending the admission of magicians to fellowship of the Inner Magic Circle. Stonehenge reminds us of pre-Christian rituals about which we know very little, but many circles of standing stones are found in western Europe and their significance has been widely discussed.


Symbolic Logic Triple Bond Heavenly Body Religious Symbolism Universal Symbol 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    C.R. Noe and A. Bader, Josef Loschmidt, in J.H. Wotiz, ed., The Kekulé Riddle, Glenview Press, Carbondale, USA, and Cache River Press, Vienna, USA, 1993, p.221.Google Scholar
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    Many’ serious’ mathematicians have no time for symbolic logic, topology or even (in some cases) for geometry, preferring to define mathematics in terms of more algebraic and numerical topics but admitting graph theory (topological, not Cartesian graphs) to the canon. Geometers were heartened when recent efforts to prove fermat’s last theorem rested to some extent on geometric reasoning.Google Scholar
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    J.W. Kennedy and L.V. Quintas, Applications of Graphs in Chemistry and Physics, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1988, p. 1.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian D. Rae
    • 1
  1. 1.Victoria University of TechnologyMelbourneAustralia

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