Alchemy are the experiences of chemical phenomena that precede the scientific method. The objective of alchemy was knowledge about the transmutation of matter, mixed with motivations considered religious or esoteric.
The most accepted theory about the etymological origin of the word alchemy is one that is formed with the Arabic prefix al – and the Greek word khyma which means “mixing or melting of liquids”.
Alchemy as a precursor to the chemical, physical and astronomical knowledge we know today, is said to have reached its peak in Alexandria where knowledge of the philosophy of the Ancient Greeks meets the technology of the Ancient Egyptians.
The alchemy known as the first chemical experiences with metals harbored esoteric motivations like all the knowledge acquired until then.
The heliocentric theory of the Polish Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543) in 1543 demystifies in front of the Christian church, for example, the Earth as the center of the Universe.
Interestingly, it was only in 1661, when the Irish alchemist Robert Boyle (1627-1691) introduced the scientific method that we use today in his work “The Skeptical Chemist”, when alchemy begins to be replaced by the scientific method.
When the scientific method is established as a research methodology for all scientific investigations, alchemy disappears while maintaining chemical science, as astrology astronomy is also born.
Nowadays, the word alchemy is used when referring to a real experience but with touches of magic such as, for example, the alchemy of love.
Alchemy and Philosopher’s Stone
Alchemy used the knowledge we define as scientific and the esoteric knowledge of each culture.
The philosopher’s stone, for example, was known as one of the objects that the alchemists sought to create because it managed to concentrate so much power that it could convert common metals into gold.
The universal panacea was also another of the famous potions that the alchemists sought to create to heal all the ills of the world.