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ZingPath: Chemistry and Society

From Alchemy to Chemistry

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Chemistry and Society

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Lesson Focus

From Alchemy to Chemistry


Learning Made Easy

You will be able to discover chemistry starting with the ancient alchemists, learn what exactly chemistry and science are all about. Then learn about the various ways that chemistry affects our lives and the environment.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Define alchemy.
  • Explain the difference between alchemists and modern scientists.

Everything You'll Have Covered

What is alchemy? What do we call the people who practiced in this field?

~ Alchemy is not considered to be a science due to its connection to the supernatural. Alchemists were those who practiced alchemy. Alchemy is the collective efforts of people who have dreamed of converting less expensive metals into gold, or finding a magic elixir of youth. Alchemists used trial and error; they tended to hoard their experimental data instead of sharing it.

Where did alchemy get its start?

~ Alchemy got its start in the Middle East in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Persia. Alchemy later spread to India, China, and Europe.

How have alchemists influenced science as we know it today?

~ Alchemists developed many of the tools we still use today, and their discoveries about the nature of matter contributed a great deal to the emerging field of chemistry. Some of the discoveries we can attribute to alchemists include gunpowder, ceramics, and glass, as well as how to purify metal ores and other aspects of metal working.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 2 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should have an intellectual grasp on the following terms: Alchemy and the history of chemistry.
Course Chemistry
Type of Tutorial Animation
Key Vocabulary Alchemy, history of chemistry,