Saturday, February 2, 2008

Alchemy, revisited

Alchemy is a pseudoscience that contributed to the development of the science of chemistry. Alchemy talks about creating gold. A newspaper article in the New York Times talks about making other metals look like gold by pitting their surfaces. Similarly, gold can be made to look black. Can you see an application for this science which falls into the realm of surface chemistry? Well, jewelry manufactures are very excited about it. Can you speculate as to why?

Write an essay comparing and contrasting alchemy and chemistry. Then, discuss ideas you find in the newspaper article telling what you think about them. Be sure to cite ideas from the paper. But, also include your opinions about the article and whether you think it is alchemy or chemistry.

Suggest a product you think would be made from the "new" gold. Then, summarize your essay and make a conclusion. Draw pictures if you like. A parent, guardian or teacher can post your essay in the comments, or post a link to it. Have fun writing!

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