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Turning lead into gold, alchemy and chemistry

Turning lead into gold, alchemy and chemistry

C034/5171

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Credit

RICHARD WAREHAM FOTOGRAFIE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RICHARD WAREHAM FOTOGRAFIE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Turning lead into gold. Pb is the chemical symbol for the element lead, and Au is the chemical symbol for gold. The ancient art of alchemy played a significant role in the development of modern chemistry. One of the objects of alchemy was the transmutation of base metals such as lead into gold, which symbolised perfection. This process is known as chrysopoeia.

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