Esin Kahya

Keywords: Avicenna, Chemistry, Copper, Gold, Silver, Metal, Iron


The study of chemistry began in the ancient civilizations, as it happened in China, India, Egypt and Ancient Greek. The studies of alchemy appeared later and improved in Egypt in the Hellenistic period. In Islamic civilization, Cabir b. Hayan, Rhazes and some other scientists were interested in alchemy and wrote on this subject. They believed the transmutation which claimed that elements could be turn converted from to another, thus they could produce golden and silver mixing from quick silver and sulphure mixing them in certain ratio. They defined the idea of element and also some instruments being used during the chemical reaction even in now days. There are some other scientists who said that transmutation could not be possible, because each element has own specialties. One of them was Avicenna. He explained his ideas in his book Shifa, but he also wrote the article (risala), named Risala al- Kimya in order to explain why it could not be possible. He also gave his results of the experiments on this matter in order to prove his ideas. Here he also explained the vessels and some instrument he used during his chemical experiments.