Monday, January 24, 2011

Isaac Newton and the Philosopher's stone

Previously, I blogged a little about Newton being an alchemist and having a large collection of alchemic texts... however, this article I read on Discover Magazine is even more intriguing. Apparently someone found a handwritten manuscript of Newton's that describes how to create the Philosopher's Stone.  If you are not familiar the Philosopher's Stone, it's basically a legendary chemical that can theoretically transmute elements... specifically lead into gold.   What is kind of interesting is that it seems that the father of Physics and Calculus (Newton) and the father of Chemistry (Boyle) were both buddies and hard core alchemists... check the article for more...

here are a couple snippets

Today revered as the father of modern physics and the inventor of calculus, Newton was describing a recipe for the Philosophers’ Stone, a legendary substance that reputedly could turn base metals like iron and lead into gold. Newton’s dabblings in alchemy are well known, but his belief that he had found the closely guarded blueprint for the Philosophers’ Stone was astonishing indeed.
Further evidence of their seriousness emerged after Boyle’s death in 1691. In life, Boyle had guarded his recipe for red earth as if it were the most precious thing in the world. But upon his death, his executor, the philosopher John Locke, also an alchemist, was more generous, sending Newton the recipe along with a sample that Boyle had made before his death. 

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