Thursday, October 21, 2010

Isaac Newton: Closet Alchemist

Isaac Newton, who is often considered the most influential scientist in history, invented calculus, described the law of universal gravitation, built the first reflecting telescope, and was clearly a master of the scientific method. Recently, however, a professor gave a public speech after science historians fully analyzed Newton's extensive writings on the subject of alchemy. Alchemy, which is now considered a pseudo-science, involves changing one element into another in the hope of creating gold, often through spiritual or philosophical means rather than scientific experimentation. Even at its height, alchemy was heavily criticized and often banned. Isaac Newton passionately practiced alchemy, mostly at night, for over thirty years. Despite its questionable status, alchemy was widely believed in by scientists in the 1600’s, was more similar to modern chemistry than magic, and resulted in several important achievements and inventions.

Logan A. Period 1

1 comment:

jon C said...

It is surprising that Issac Newton was that well rounded in his studys and that he was passionate about a subject to do it even though it was banned.