Difference between Alchemy and Chemistry

What are the major differences between Alchemy and Chemistry?

Alchemy and chemistry are two very different sciences that have similar roots, but their methods and goals are very different.

The main difference is that chemistry is the study of matter while alchemy is the study of change.

Before we move to the differences, let’s understand what are Alchemy and Chemistry:

  • Alchemy: Alchemy is an ancient practice that involves the transmutation of base metals into gold, usually through some kind of chemical reaction.
  • Chemistry: Chemistry is a modern science that studies the properties and structure of matter, as well as its reactions.

Alchemy vs Chemistry

Now, let’s move to Alchemy vs Chemistry:

Major differences between Alchemy and Chemistry

Alchemy Chemistry
Alchemy is defined as an ancient branch of natural philosophy. Chemistry is defined as a scientific discipline involved with elements and compounds.
Alchemists believed that all matter was made up of four elements—earth, air, fire, and water. Chemists believe that all matter is made up of only three elements: hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen.
Alchemy uses magical spells and prayers instead of chemical reactions to change one element into another. Chemistry uses chemical reactions to change one element into another.
Alchemy uses symbols to represent elements and phases of matter. Chemistry uses numbers and formulas to represent elements and phases of matter.
Alchemy focuses on transformation and transmutation. Chemistry tends to focus more on understanding how certain elements interact with each other.

That’s it.

Note that sometimes, the question might also be asked as “distinguish between Alchemy and Chemistry”.

Also see:

Final words

So we can conclude that alchemy and chemistry have a lot in common, but are not the same. They both have their own core principles, methods, and goals.

Chemistry is the study of matter and its properties, whereas alchemy is the study of transformation. Alchemy is also an art, whereas chemistry is more science-based.

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