What is an alchemist?


An alchemist is a person who practices alchemy, the ancient art of turning lead and other substances into gold. Alchemists were thought to possess supernatural powers that gave them influence over the natural elements. Alchemists also sought to create the Philosopher's Stone, a mythical gem said to grant immortality to its owner.

For thousands of years, alchemists attempted to create gold by combining lead, copper and other metals. By attempting to manipulate the properties of substances, alchemists sought to create new precious materials. Alchemists never succeeded because their methods defied the laws of physics and chemistry. The early belief that all matter was composed of four elements -- earth, air, fire, water -- was incorrect, and medieval concoction methods made it impossible for the alchemists to produce real gold. Alchemists believed that gold was the highest form of a material substance, so continually refining metals to turn them pure, or golden, was thought to be possible.

The practice of alchemy led to the development of chemistry and other sciences. Some of the primitive scientific methods and techniques used by ancient alchemists in their pursuits continue to be a part of modern science. Although alchemy was not a successful art in past ages, modern technology makes it possible to synthesize gold in a structured environment.

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1 Additional Answer
Ask.com Answer for: what is an alchemist
a person who is versed in or practices alchemy.
Source: Dictionary.com
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