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‘Philosopher Stone’ Recipe Discovered in Isaac Newton's Manuscript

Apr 11, 2016 04:20 AM EDT
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Newton Manuscript
A newly rediscovered manuscript of Isaac Newton contains his hand-written copy of the recipe of the Philosopher Stone.
(Photo : Chemistry Heritage Foundation)

It looks like Harry Potter's You-Know-Who and the Elric Brothers are not the only ones searching and studying the so-called "philosopher stone," as a newly rediscovered manuscript shows that one of the greatest minds to walk on Earth also got entangled with the powerful stone.

The so-called "philosopher stone" is one of the greatest mysteries of all time. It is believed that this stone can turn lead into gold.

According to Weather, a manuscript has been passed own in private hands until it was bought by Chemical Heritage Foundation for more than $100,000 in February.

The manuscript was discovered to be a copy of a recipe for making a Sophick Mercury for the "philosopher stone" and it was handwritten by no other than Sir Isaac Newton himself.

The recipe, according to Washington Today, was by famous alchemist and Harvard-educated George Stakey, under the pseudonym Eirenaeus Philalethe.

The creation of Sophick or philosophic mercury was considered to be a step closer to getting the fabled stone.

The basic idea behind philosophic mercury is that it can be used to break down metal into its basic parts.

When metals are broken down, it is believed that it can be reassembled and made to different metals.

So, metals are broken down by the philosophic mercury, then the philosopher's stone is added to the mixture--and poof! Gold.

However, Chemistry World reported that the handwritten copy of Newton of the recipe actually predates the publication of the original version.

As apparent to his copy, Newton made a couple of corrections in the recipe.

The "Father of Physics" seemed to also have the habit of writing in the back of whatever paper near him when an idea suddenly struck.

 "Like many of us, when Newton needed a place to jot something down, he would sometimes just turn over a manuscript and write on the blank page on the back," said James Voelkel, curator of rare books at the Othmer Library of Chemical History, in a statement.

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