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Newton the Alchemist$
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William Newman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691174877

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691174877.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 26 February 2020

The Quest for Sophic Sal Ammoniac

The Quest for Sophic Sal Ammoniac

Chapter:
(p.319) Fifteen The Quest for Sophic Sal Ammoniac
Source:
Newton the Alchemist
Author(s):

William R. Newman

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691174877.003.0015

This chapter begins with a survey of the very early material in Newton's “master notebook,” CU Add. 3975 along with Boston Medical Library B MS c41 c. It then performs a systematic examination of CU Add. 3973, Newton's set of chronologically ordered notes for the period from 1678 to at least 1696. These records detail three experimental programs. The first, called “the quest for sophic sal ammoniac,” runs from the beginning of December 1678 until midsummer 1680, when Newton actually discovers the material that he terms “Philosophicum”—philosophical or sophic sal ammoniac. The second begins in August 1682 and consists mostly of a series of tests to determine whether stibnite refined by fusion or the ore as it comes directly out of the mine should be used in preparing Newton's antimonial sublimates. The third program is described in detail in Chapter 16.

Keywords:   Isaac Newton, alchemy, experimental notebooks, CU Add. 3973, sophic sal ammoniac

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