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book cover image: the chemistry of alchemy

 The Precursor to Chemistry

There is a strong association between alchemy and magic but there is a vast difference between the two arts that is traceable and verifiable. 

Alchemy was actually the practice of chemistry - such as it was - for over 25 centuries prior to the 1600's and 1700's. 

Concerned with the transmutation of base metals into gold and attainment of the "Philosophers Stone" alchemy is often depicted with a wizard or sorcerer citing incantations and waving a magic wand. 

In fact, alchemy  was the foundation of chemistry-related processes that have become known as the chemical arts. 

Cobb, Fetterolf, and Goldwhite's new book The chemistry of alchemy: from dragon's blood to donkey dung, how chemistry was forged removes alchemy from the realm of magic by showing the actual chemistry behind it. 

They show how the alchemists' quest for gold was not in vain, having contributed and refined many scientific concepts that we have today. 

The authors have even included basic experiments the reader can do at home.

Written in non-technical language this is an easy read filled with amazing facts and some fun experiments.  Highly recommended.