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A L C H E M Y

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Author Topic: A L C H E M Y  (Read 1116 times)
Bianca
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« on: August 02, 2007, 02:20:24 pm »







Alchemy in the Age of Science





Western alchemy was a forerunner of modern scientific chemistry. Alchemists used many of the same tools that we use today. These tools were not usually sturdy or in good condition, especially during the Dark Ages of Europe. Many transmutation attempts failed when alchemists unwittingly made unstable chemicals. This was made worse by the unsafe conditions.



Up to the 16th century, alchemy was considered serious science in Europe; for instance, Isaac Newton devoted considerably more of his time and writing to the study of alchemy (see Isaac Newton's occult studies) than he did to either optics or physics, for which he is famous. Other eminent alchemists of the Western world are Roger Bacon, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Tycho Brahe, Thomas Browne, and Parmigianino. The decline of alchemy began in the 18th century with the birth of modern chemistry, which provided a more precise and reliable framework for matter transmutations and medicine, within a new grand design of the universe based on rational materialism.



In the first half of the nineteenth century, one established chemist, Baron Carl Reichenbach, worked on concepts similar to the old alchemy, such as the Odic force, but his research did not enter the mainstream of scientific discussion.



Matter transmutation, the old goal of alchemy, enjoyed a moment in the sun in the 20th century when physicists were able to convert lead atoms into gold atoms via a nuclear reaction. However, the new gold atoms, being unstable isotopes, lasted for under five seconds before they broke apart. More recently, reports of table-top element transmutationóby means of electrolysis or sonic cavitationówere the pivot of the cold fusion controversy of 1989. None of those claims have yet been reliably duplicated.



Alchemical symbolism has been occasionally used in the 20th century by psychologists and philosophers.

 Carl Jung reexamined alchemical symbolism and theory and began to show the inner meaning of alchemical work as a spiritual path. Alchemical philosophy, symbols and methods have enjoyed something of a renaissance in post-modern contexts, such as the New Age movement.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2007, 10:34:45 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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