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The Chymistry of Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton is remembered today for his groundbreaking work in the fields of physics, mathematics, and astronomy. However, the renowned physicist was also an alchemist - a discovery that vexed some of Newton's admirers when it was uncovered in 1936. Originally featured in the 11-11-2005 issue of the Scout Report, Indiana University's fantastic Chymistry of Isaac Newton is dedicated to "Newton's involvement in the discipline of alchemy, or as it was often called in seventeenth-century England, chymistry." The Chymistry of Isaac Newton offers a number of resources for educators, researchers, and the generally curious. At the heart of this resource is a collection of digitized manuscripts, which have been transcribed and annotated with both normalized and diplomatic transcriptions. Those interested in exploring these manuscripts will find a helpful alchemical glossary in the online tools section, which will acquaint contemporary readers with the vocabulary of seventeenth-century alchemy. Meanwhile, in the educational resources section, science instructors can learn how to facilitate one of Newton's alchemical experimentations in the classroom. As noted in this section: "Newton's chymistry was in many cases fully operational and explicable in modern chemical terminology." Collectively, this website reveals an often-overlooked part of Newton's intellectual world, offering insights into both the scientist himself and into seventeenth-century England.
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Date of Scout Publication 2018-03-23
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