For hundreds of years alchemists toiled in their laboratories to produce a mythical substance known as the philosopher’s stone.
The supposedly dense, waxy, red material was said to enable the process that has become synonymous with alchemy— the metamorphosis, or transmutation, of base metals such as lead into gold.
Initially inspired by the development of batteries, it covers technology in general and includes some interesting little known, or long forgotten, facts as well as a few myths about the development of technology, the science behind it, the context in which it occurred and the deeds of the many personalities, eccentrics and charlatans involved.
"Either you do the work or you get the credit" Yakov Zel'dovich - Russian Astrophysicist Fortunately it is not always true.
Alchemists have often been dismissed as pseudoscientific charlatans but in many ways they paved the way for modern chemistry and medicine.
The alchemists of the 16th and 17th centuries developed new experimental techniques, medicines and other chemical concoctions, such as pigments.
Background We think of a battery today as a source of portable power, but it is no exaggeration to say that the battery is one of the most important inventions in the history of mankind.