Vol. 1 No. 1 (2017)
Historical Articles

Isaac Newton and Alchemy

Vincenzo Schettino
Università degli Studi di Firenze, Firenze, Italy

Published 2017-03-02


  • Newton,
  • Alchemy,
  • transmutation,
  • cosmology,
  • physics

How to Cite

Schettino, V. (2017). Isaac Newton and Alchemy. Substantia, 1(1), 69–76. https://doi.org/10.13128/Substantia-12


Isaac Newton dedicated a good part of his activity to alchemical experiments. This article tries to discuss the motivations that drove Newton to spend so much of his time in the laboratory: the search for a unitary vision of the forces acting in the macrocosm and in the microcosm, the belief on a hidden prisca sapientia in the occult philosophy to be rediscovered with a scientific approach and the dispute with materialistic philosophy.

An educational version of this article is published in the popular magazine L'Indiscreto.  Our motto "No walls. Just bridges" implies that Substantia aims at being a top level interdisciplinary scientific journal, but wants to be also an actor in public engagement, in the framework of the University's Third Mission.  In other terms we want to promote "scientific leaks" (Sci-leaks).