Ισαάκ Νεύτων, Αλχημιστής

15 Οκτωβρίου 2010 | 3 σχόλια

Να ένα πολύ ενδιαφέρον άρθρο από τους New York Times για μια από τις σημαντικότερες ιδιοφυίες που έζησαν ποτέ, ο οποίος, λέει, αντίθετα με ό,τι θα περίμενες, έδειχνε ένα τρομερό ενδιαφέρον για την αλχημεία. Ξέρεις, αυτή την ψευτο-επιστήμη που προσπαθούσε να φτιάξει χρυσάφι από μολύβι.

There were plenty of theoretical and empirical reasons at the time to take the principles of alchemy seriously, to believe that compounds could be broken down into their basic constituents and those constituents then reconfigured into other, more desirable substances.

Miners were pulling up from the ground twisted bundles of copper and silver that were shaped like the stalks of a plant, suggesting that veins of metals and minerals were proliferating underground with almost florid zeal.

Pools found around other mines seemed to have extraordinary properties. Dip an iron bar into the cerulean waters of the vitriol springs of modern-day Slovakia, for example, and the artifact will emerge agleam with copper, as though the dull, dark particles of the original had been elementally reinvented. “It was perfectly reasonable for Isaac Newton to believe in alchemy,” said Dr. Newman. “Most of the experimental scientists of the 17th century did.”