Isaac Newton is the great scientist or the passionate alchemist? Having got
in 1936 at the " auction; Sotheby`s “ a big collection of works of Isaac Newton, the outstanding English economist John Maynard Keynes also did not assume that he got not scientific researches of the great British, and works on alchemy.
Several years later, having finished studying of these works, Keynes came to a skeptical conclusion: “ Newton was not a pioneer Veka of reason, but the last magician “. Because in the compositions acquired by it alchemical calculations how to transform other minerals and substances to gold prevailed.
On an extent more than two decades the alchemy was all-consuming passion of Newton. Meticulous researchers of his creativity counted: on this subject he wrote more than one million words - more, than even about the physicist and the mechanic. The considerable part of its correspondence with other glorified scientist - Robert Boyle who is nowadays esteemed " is devoted to discussion of the questions connected with alchemy; father of modern chemistry “: he formulated (in 1661) the first scientific definition of chemical element, the experimental method entered into chemistry, laid the foundation to the chemical analysis.
Both Newton, and Boyle diligent searched “ philosophers` stone “ - the mystical substance allegedly capable to turn other materials into gold. Like other alchemists, they planned to keep the principles and researches in secret, being afraid “ enormous danger to the whole world “ if alchemical secrets fall into bad hands. After Boyle`s death in 1691 Newton made the mass of efforts for preserving recipes of the senior friend. And then spent a lot of time in order that on the basis of these recipes to turn - mercury in gold. Judging by results, efforts remained unsuccessful. Moreover - it is considered that the serious poisoning in mercury couples became the emergence reason at Newton of a mental disorder.
Perhaps, it would be unfair to declare all Newtonian alchemy antiscientific. In total - in the 17th century the alchemy had a reputation for serious, dear science. It is possible to tell, giants worked, without feeling sorry for themselves. Harry Potter has a rest!
Today admits almost without reservations: the modern science of a lot of things gathered exactly from there. For example, alchemists discovered many chemical elements, developed methods and norms by which the modern chemistry is guided hitherto. As a result of radioactive decay isotopes of potassium are constantly transformed to argon isotopes. So, it is as if unreal sounded, scientists of that era, perhaps, and could turn various substances into gold (or something other) if were able to change quantity of protons and neutrons in nuclear kernels of elements. Or perhaps someone also solved this problem, goodness knows?
In a word, alchemy - not such and a pseudo science if to look comprehensively. Only to devote all the life to searches “ philosophers` stone “ now, probably, all - is not necessary.]