Handwritten manuscript containing notes for making aqua fortis, (or nitric acid), and refining silver. Includes a basic sketch of the apparatus used in the procedure. Written by John Conduitt (1688-1737), Sir Isaac Newton's (1643-1727) colleague and protégé. Conduitt was a British landowner and Whig politician. He sat in the House of Commons from 1721 to 1737 and was married to Newton's half-niece Catherine Barton (1679-1739).
In alchemy, aqua fortis (Latin for “strong water”) is nitric acid. Being highly corrosive, the solution was used in alchemy for dissolving silver and most other metals with the notable exception of gold. Aqua fortis was prepared by mixing either sand, alum, or vitriol, or the last two together, with saltpeter, then distilling it by a hot fire. The gas collected from this condenses into aqua fortis.
|Creator of work|
A catalogue of the Portsmouth collection of books and papers written by or belonging to Sir Isaac Newton, chemistry parcel 5, item 29 (p. 18).
Catalogue of the Newton papers... sold by auction by Messrs. Sotheby and Co.... On Monday July 13, 1936, and Following Day., lot 88b (p. 14).
The Roy G. Neville Historical Chemical Library, vol. 2, p. 658, where the manuscripts is misidentified as belonging to lot 18 in the Sotheby's sale.
|Rights||Public Domain Mark 1.0|
Isaac Newton's copy of the Preparation of the [Sophick] Mercury for the [Philosophers'] StoneAfter 1670 – before 1678
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