While Isaac Newton is considered a hero of the so-called Enlightenment, a period widely regarded as breaking with the “superstitions” of the earlier medieval period, he is also sometimes referred to as the last of the alchemists. What was Isaac Newton trying to accomplish in the nearly forty years that he devoted to alchemy? Was he engaged in a single-minded quest for the philosophers’ stone, or in an attempt to find mystical enlightenment, or even in a way of expanding his natural philosophy into new areas of research?
By examining the records of Newton’s alchemical experimentation and replicating a number of his processes in the laboratory, historian William Newman hopes to arrive at a solution to these and other questions surrounding the famous physicist’s alchemical quest. Co-sponsored by Bernard Becker Medical Library.
Presentation will be from 4–5 pm in Olin Library, Room 142, followed by a reception in the Ginkgo Room from 5–6 pm.
Free and open to all, registration requested.