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IN History & Culture ON 18 Apr, 2016
We are well aware of Newton's interest in alchemy, which drove him to write millions of text on the subject. We cannot even imagine the unfathomable world without some of his crucial theories and contributions. One of his texts has now resurfaced which was hidden in a private collection since decades. And this one can make us all millionaires!
A Philadelphia non-profit firm, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, purchased the text that includes the recipe for sophick mercury.
Well, you Harry Potter fan absolutely know the philosopher's stone, right? So sophick mercury is the key ingredient to make it. And, for the refreshing of your memory, know that it could turn any metal into gold.
He copied the text from the manuscripts by George Starkey, a 17th century America-born alchemist who is popular by his romantic pen name Eireanus Philalethes ("the peaceful lover of truth").
According to the modern day scholars who translated his work, the recipe includes repeatedly distilling mercury, followed by heating it with gold.
However, there are no evidence that Newton decrypted the works of Starkey accurately. While alchemy isn't so popular a field, had Newton not been involved in it so keenly, some groundbreaking discoveries would have been left hidden.
"Alchemists were the first to realize that compounds could be broken down into their constituent parts and then recombined. Newton then applied that to white light, which he deconstructed into constituent colors and then recombined. That's something Newton got from alchemy."
So, if you've got some iron rods or chains and you were to throw them away, let them be lest they might be converted into Gold someday!
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