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By the end of 18th century the theory of four elements or the mystic duality between planets and metals, which among other things informed the formation of alchemic symbols, did not have much currency with chemists. Neither did traditional alchemic objectives like the elixir of life everlasting, panacea (universal cure), or transmutation of metals. The old ...


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The only descriptions I have seen seem to show by implication how experimental (and perhaps accidental) the subject was. Newton was a long way from being the first to investigate speculum metal, but for the following reasons his descriptions can form a useful reference-point: (a) Some of the difficulties of accounting for early developments in 'chymistry' ...


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We have to go back at least to Renessaince alchemy; see Paracelsus' chemistry with the tria prima: the idea of triparite alternatives to explain the nature of medicine, taking the place of a combustible element (sulphur) a fluid and changeable element (mercury) and a solid, permanent element (salt.) The first mention of the mercury, sulphur, salt model ...


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