Alchemy -The Predecessor of Modern Chemistry
report is alchemy as a pre-chemistry, which gave a new impulse towards the
preparation of medicinal remedies and also was a major influence on today’s
Alchemy is an ancient art, practiced in the Middle Ages. The fundamental
concept of alchemy stemmed from Aristotle’s doctrine that all things tend to
found deep within the earth and that a skilled artisan could duplicate this
scientific quest, but a spiritual quest as well. Although the purposes and
techniques were often times ritualistic and fanciful, alchemy was in many ways
considered to be among the very first chemical theories, such as the theory that
worked at home, in order to save money and avoid outside interference. Some
attic or cellar, where late-night activity was less likely to be noticed by
inquisitive neighbors. These small, makeshift laboratories were often filled
with a grimy jumble of instruments, manuscripts, skulls, animal specimens, and
assorted mystical objects. Most alchemists also had an alter in their lab, which
was a aid they deemed necessary to the spiritual aspects of their pursuit-
eternal life and unimaginable power. In these surroundings that owed more to
mysticism than to science, attempts to discover the magical substance that would
turn "base" metals into gold inadvertently laid much of the groundwork
for the later discipline of applied chemistry. Alchemists were the first to
isolate a number of chemicals, from phosphorus to hydrochloric acid, and they
also developed new equipment and methods for distilling fluids, assaying metals,
and controlling chemical reactions.
One method the alchemist helped to develop was the use of heat to start
Master ye may call him true, that knoweth his Heates both high and lowe."
The alchemist experimented with a number of furnaces, water baths, and other
heating apparatus. They also refined the process of distillation and created
many flasks and stills.
alchemy’s mystical and astrological attempts at turning common metals into gold.
up the visionary, metaphysical side of the older alchemy and developed it into a
practice based on imposture, necromancy, and fraud, which is the prevailing
notion of alchemy today. The other group, however, devoted themselves to the
the legitimate ancestors of modern chemistry.