It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Sir Isaac Newton's Alchemy

page: 1

log in


posted on Feb, 25 2006 @ 11:38 AM
Sir Isaac Newton was without a doubt one of the greatest minds the world has ever seen. Most every person learned in school about his amazing work in the field of Physics and Math. What most might not know is that for a good deal of his life he was consumed by his work in Alchmey. Newton infact wrote more papers on Alchemy and Theology then he did about Physics.

To most the word 'alchemy' calls up the picture of a medieval crackpots working in sinister labs with crazy ingredients like eye of newt trying to turn lead into gold. This is not really fair or true alchemy infact involved alot of science and art and could even be thought of as the father of modern Chemistry, Alchemy was really matter theory. Alchemy was able to attract the lifelong devotion of some of the world greatest minds for hundreds if not thousands of years, Newton was one such man.

Newton had to practice this art secretly because in 17th-century England it was illegal to practice alchemy and you could have gotten into some big trouble if you got caught. It was made illegal because of the fear that somebody would actually transmute a substance into gold. England was a Gold based economy and such a discovery could destroy its whole economy.

But even still Newton practice alchemy though in the greatest of secrecy. The only reason we know about it is because of a huge collections of documents of Newtons many of which were written in a secret code. For years worked like a man possessed.

Newton believed that in the distant past, people knew great truths about nature and the universe. This wisdom was lost over time, but Newton thought it was hidden in Greek myths, which he interpreted as encoded alchemical recipes. He would often interprete the different Gods with different elements and mixing them according to what happend in the story.

He certainly was looking for something in alchemy—it's obviously something quite big—and he obviously did not find it because he opted not to publish anything about it. Nobody really knows what he was looking for in Alchemy but it was something important. This is why I created this thread to discuss what Newtons was looking for.

Was he looking to transmute Gold? I dont know if I believe this one I dont see Newton as the type trying to get rich off alchemy. Was he looking for the fabled Philosopher's stone? The infamous Elixir of Life in alchemy? Or perhaps some great hidden truth?

What made this great mind devote so much of his life for this search?

Newtons Dark secrets


posted on May, 2 2007 @ 09:25 PM
Sir Isaac Newton was attempting to re-create the origins of life. His methods echo scientific methods currently used by astrobiologists, including the classic Silica Garden reaction. There was a PBS special on this topic last night and I had no idea he was so entrenched in this! Most assume he was either crazy or trying to turn lead into gold, I assume. Still I read an English translation of his notes and saw some incredible parallels between his work and research currently underway. If anyone is still interested in this thread... let's talk!

posted on May, 2 2007 @ 09:31 PM
My understanding, phusion, is that alchemy is ultimately a quest to be like God. I also understand that alchemists thought that metals either represented or possessed spiritual properties, and that gold represented righteousness. Perhaps some alchemists thought that vice (lead) could be transmuted into virtue (gold), and one could live however one pleased and still taste paradise.

posted on May, 4 2007 @ 10:38 PM
Is it possible that we are just misunderstanding the terminology they used to name reagents and describe protocols? It was common practice to substitute elemental terminology with "essence/spirit of Roman/Greek God(dess) of your choice" and frame the instructions in terms of a fable.

Newton hardly seems like the sort of person who would have wanted to be like a god. I think he wanted to understand his superiors and according to PBS, he apparently believed that advanced knowledge/technology was somehow lost through the ages. Hey, if I saw a reason to believe in such things, I would be intensely curious about what they knew too!
Sure, the bulk of alchemists seem to fall into the category you describe and many were hung dressed in tinsel for their crimes but I think it's unfair to lump Newton in with them. It would be easier for me to imagine his arch nemesis Hooke in that position! Now there was a greedy, glory-grubbing bugger!

posted on May, 5 2007 @ 04:24 AM
Yeah PBS had a HD show about that. He said the world would end 2060,
and he was trying to make the Philosopher's stone.

posted on May, 5 2007 @ 10:45 PM
just because newton did it doesn't mean he was right. again, brilliant minds can still be crackpots. hell, some of our most brilliant minds were bonkers

posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 11:05 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 11:08 PM
We owe so much to the alchemists, like Newton, and all the ones that came before him.

They were the ones that catapulted the Western world into scientific rather than superstitious thinking.

It is a subject that personally fascinates me.

posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 11:12 PM
reply to post by nm9xa6ems

I don't think the translation worked well because you lost me.

2nd line and I'm still confused.

posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 02:54 PM
MY Aunt told me a I need to do some studing into Sir Isaac Newton ...So like with everything unsual ,that I think about, I started here at ATS...Knew something would be here on the subject...After I look into it I'll get back to you...

posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 02:55 PM
MY Aunt told me a I need to do some studing into Sir Isaac Newton ...So like with everything unsual ,that I think about, I started here at ATS...Knew something would be here on the subject...After I look into it I'll get back to you...

new topics

top topics


log in