Looking for a solution to money worries? What if you were able to turn lead into gold? A main goal of many alchemists of the past was to do just that, tirelessly trying different methods, while keeping secretive records of their work. This collection of links explores the history of alchemy, the connection of alchemy to modern day chemistry, and some fun activities to experience a taste of the alchemist’s life.
- Flame Out
This demonstration is common now, but consider how it looked to alchemists—an invisible substance mysteriously extinguishing a candle flame.
- Dry Ice Crystal Ball
Looking to get in the alchemy mood? Get the mystical atmosphere going with this “crystal ball.”
- Silver Tree
Attention alchemists! You can turn copper into silver with ease with this demo! (Or can you?)
- Alchemy: A Cross-Curricular Activity
You’ll have plenty of “silver” and “gold” coins for a spending spree at the end of this lab. But how much are they really worth?
- Making a Quill Pen
Need to take some notes about what you’re learning about the history of alchemy? Take your writing back in time with a homemade quill pen.
- Disappearing Ink
Alchemists would have loved these ink recipes to keep their notes even more secret. Make your own!
- Aging Paper To Look Like Old Parchment
How would long-ago writings of alchemists look today? Recreate the effect of paper that appears even older than you!
- Newton's Dark Secrets
“The Lion has overcome the wolf.” “The King will be liberated.” What? Can you unravel the secrets that supposedly give steps for creating a philosopher’s stone?
- Reconstructing Alchemical Experiments
A 21st century chemist is going back in time in his lab—to the days of alchemy. Can he succeed?
- The Secrets of Alchemy
Can you keep a secret? These alchemists definitely could. Learn about a few of them from selected book excerpts.
- Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine
Love Harry Potter and his magical world? Learn about its roots in Renaissance science and medicine.
- Review of The Chemistry of Alchemy: From Dragon's Blood to Donkey Dung—How Chemistry Was Forged
Looking for hands-on alchemist-style experiments? This is the book for you! Read this review to find out more.
- Books of Secrets: Writing and Reading Alchemy
Alchemy wasn’t just about chemicals, fire, and flasks. Don’t forget this essential alchemist tool: the written word.
- An Illustrated History of Alchemy and Early Chemistry
77 pages of cool art blended with cool chemistry.
- Sir Isaac's Alchemy
What do you remember about Isaac Newton? The apple, right? What about… alchemy?
- Alchemy on the Page
What would you find on an alchemist’s bookshelves? Check it out!
- Good as Gold: What Alchemists Got Right
Was trying to make the philosopher’s stone a wild goose chase? What did alchemists “get right”?
- Lead to Gold, Sorcery to Science
Chemistry, that’s just modern stuff, right? Did alchemy of long ago play a role in its roots?
- Fact or Fiction?: Lead Can Be Turned into Gold
Sure, but you’ll need a particle accelerator. Find out how much gold you could make and at what cost.