Could it be possible that the original icon of physics could have dabbled in the occult art of alchemy?
More than dabble, Issac Newton left behind a series of over 130 manuscripts on alchemy. Newton had a full scale alchemic laboratory in his home and often wouldn’t leave his lab until at in the morning for weeks on end racing towards his latest alchemical goals.
Making the philosophers stone and transmuting different metals into other metals were all high on his list. At the root of alchemy was the belief that all matter was composed of a more primordial substance that permeated all space, the aether. Newton, much like Tesla, Faraday and all the great victorian scientists believed in the aether.
Even the BBC has made a documentary Newton: The Last Magician…(Aetheric Magician)
Alchemists believed that it was very possible that one corpuscle of the aether could be turned into the other as these processes happened deep within the earth all the time. Why then could these transformative processes not happen in a flask in a laboratory?
- Newton’s hero was early American alchemist, George Starky.
- Newton owned 1752 books, only 369 of which were “scientific” and most were about alchemy.
- Newton owned 170 books on what he called “practical magic”
- Newton never married, never had a mistress or girlfriend. Voltaire said that concerning women, Newton “had no passion or weakness” Some called Newton the 40 year old virgin.
- Newton was a deeply religious man who believed nearly all religious institutions to be corrupt. newton believed that the trinity was an attack against God as putting anything on the same level as God was blasphemy. Ironically muslims also believe this thus Newton kept his belief hidden for fear of angering the church. This was also citied by Dan Brown in the DaVinci code.
A scientist peers deeper into the history of Newtons work with alchemy and performs three experiments.
- There is an entire Project dedicated to collecting all of Newtons Alchemical papers.
- The Royal Societies Notes on Newtons Alchemy
- The Last Sorcerer, by Michael White, 1997, Perseus Books
- The Janus Faces of Genius, The Role of Alchemy in Newton’s Thought, by Betty Jo Teeter Dobbs, 1991, Cambridge University Press
- The Hunting of the Greene Lyon, Betty Jo Teeter Dobbs, 1975, Cambridge University Press
- Let Newton Be!, edited by Fauvel, Flood, Shortland, and Wilson, 1988, Oxford University Press
- “Newton, Matter, and Magic” by John Henry, page 127
- “The Secret Life of an Alchemist” by Jan Golinski, page 147
- “The God of Isaac Newton” by John Brooke, page 169
- Newton, The Father of Modern Astronomy, by Jean-Pierre Maury, Documents: “Voltaire on Newton and Descartes,” page 126, 1992, Abrams Inc. Publishers