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Newton the Alchemist

William Newman

Abstract

When Isaac Newton's alchemical papers surfaced at a Sotheby's auction in 1936, the quantity and seeming incoherence of the manuscripts were shocking. No longer the exemplar of Enlightenment rationality, the legendary physicist suddenly became “the last of the magicians.” This book unlocks the secrets of Newton's alchemical quest, providing a radically new understanding of the uncommon genius who probed nature at its deepest levels in pursuit of empirical knowledge. The book blends in-depth analysis of newly available texts with laboratory replications of Newton's actual experiments in alchemy. ... More

Keywords: Isaac Newton, nature, alchemy, chymistry, optical experimentation, scientific knowledge, Enlightenment, empiricism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780691174877
Published to University Press Scholarship Online: May 2019 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691174877.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

William Newman, author
Indiana University

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