The Philosopher's Stone - a means that turns metals into gold, giving the key to immortality, the secret dream of many generations of alchemists, is now considered an invention. However, this is not entirely true.
What is a Philosopher's Stone?
The Philosopher's Stone is a kind of substance, a substance that has the ability to transform metals into gold, and also serves as the main ingredient in the elixir of life. This is one of the key concepts of medieval alchemy, which has truly become the talk of the town.
The philosopher's stone can be called a stone rather conditionally, since in most recipes it appears as a powder. In addition, it should be noted that the function of converting metals into gold was considered by advanced alchemists to be secondary, while the ultimate goal of creating a philosopher's stone was to prepare an elixir of life that would give health, longevity and other benefits of life.
History of the concept and recipes for creation
The first mention of the philosopher's stone is lost in the mists of time, so it makes no sense to look for the origins of this concept. It is worth noting, however, one of the most famous alchemists in history, Nicolas Flamel. For many years he devoted to the creation of the philosopher's stone, and rumors circulated around Paris that he had succeeded. Rumors were largely supported by Flamel's unusually long life for the Middle Ages - he died at the very respectable age of 88. Rumor, however, did not recognize his death, and even in the 18th century a rogue was found in Paris, posing as Flamel and promising to reveal all the alchemical secrets for a short sum of 300,000 francs. in the 21st century, the image of Flamel was popularized in the book "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone", and earlier the image of this legendary alchemist was reflected in more than 10 works of art.
Such extraordinary attention to the person of this alchemist testifies to an interest in the phenomenon of the philosopher's stone, an interest so great that speculation on this topic still exists.
Attempts to make a philosopher's stone were reduced, in fact, to an enumeration of all possible combinations of various ingredients, so it is not possible to single out any specific recipe. However, it cannot be said that all these attempts were fruitless. Of course, no one received the Philosopher's Stone, however, in the course of the experiments, many chemical chemical compounds that are still relevant to this day were created, including, for example, gunpowder. Alchemical experiments on the creation of a philosopher's stone put a huge experimental base at the service of science, which, of course, became a reliable foundation for the development of science-chemistry.
Meanwhile, obtaining gold from other metals is possible both theoretically and practically, only not in the alchemist's retort, but in a nuclear reactor, as a product of the reaction of absorption of neutrons by mercury nuclei. However, such gold is extremely expensive, and therefore does not make any economic sense.