William R. Newman F'14

William R. Newman
Professor
History and Philosophy of Science
Indiana University Bloomington

ACLS Fellowship Program 2014
Professor
History and Philosophy of Science
Indiana University Bloomington
The Alchemy of Isaac Newton, A New Appraisal

Despite two major monographs and a seemingly definitive biography, the alchemy of Isaac Newton remains poorly understood today. This situation is ripe for change, however, thanks to the fact that most of Newton’s “chymical” writings have recently been edited on line by the “Chymistry of Isaac Newton” project (www.chymistry.org). The current project will consist of research leading to a new book on Newton’s alchemy that will provide a radically new interpretation of his involvement in this subject. The approach will differ from that of previous scholars in that Newton’s experimental laboratory notebooks will form the “Ariadne’s thread” that will unlock his chaotic and extensive reading notes.