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March 2006

Chymistry of Isaac Newton
Newton's notebooks they spelled the subject differently in the 1600s!
Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12, Advanced

Indiana University's Digital Library, with support from the National Science Foundation, is developing this online edition of Newton's alchemical manuscripts integrated with new research on Newton's "chymistry." To date about 250 pages of the manuscripts have been edited and are available online, including Newton's Most Complete Laboratory Notebook.
This well designed site can be navigated from the top navigation bar. Manuscripts can be browsed by title or searched using keywords. Adobe Reader, Windows Media, and QuickTime are needed.

Chymistry is the term used in 17th century England referring to the science of alchemy. Newton's alchemy manuscripts have never been fully interpreted, described, or annotated, therefore, Indiana University's digital library is attempting to digitize and publish the entire 2,000 pages. So far they have around 250 pages online for viewing. Each manuscript has two versions, diplomatic (the manuscript as it appears) and normalized (a more readable version). They also include an introduction, alchemical glossary, editorial practices, and symbol guide. Included in the exhibit is background information about Newton and Alchemy and instructional materials. Newton's Chymistry of Metal Solubilities is a "multimedia interpretation and reworking of a series of experiments taken from Query 31 of Newton's optical masterpiece, the Opticks". It is divided into three levels of difficulty: level one for middle school science courses, the second level for high school students and the third level for advanced high school and beginning college chemistry courses.



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