Question by wannabefamoushilary: Alchemy……………………..?
Alchemy and the history of the atom?
I have to do a chemistry project about how alchemy helped with the history of the atom. I need some good websites. We also have to make a 3D model and my teacher said to focus on the technique and equipment, so I need some ideas of what to make. Thanks!!

Best answer:

Answer by gribbling
Well – alchemy proposed that it was possible to transmute “base” substances (like lead) into “noble” ones (like gold).

Through experimentation to attempt to accomplish this, the modern science of chemistry was founded.
The word “chemist” as opposed to “alchemist” was first used by Robert Boyle (who discovered Boyle’s law of gasses) in his 1661 manuscript “The Sceptical Chymist” (“The Sceptic Alchymist”?).

Through the development of chemistry, it was discovered that is was NOT possible to transform one lead into gold – but is WAS possible to transform some substances into other, either by combining them together or by separating them from each other. This led to the discovery of the elements – the basic chemical components which everything else was composed of, in different combinations, by Antoine Lavoisier.

Further study of the elements, through both chemistry and physics, led to John Dalton proposing that elements were composed of identical *atoms* (meaning “indivisible” in greek).

The physicst Earnest Rutherford discovered the structure of atoms – that they consisted of a positive nucleus surrounded by negative charge. And this eventually led to nuclear physics – whereby it was discovered that it IS actually possible to transmute one element into another (by bombardment with radiation, or by radioactive decay).

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