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Official Master > Master projects

Jordi Mora Casanova
José Ramón de Luanco y la visión de la Alquimia en la España del Siglo XIX
Supervisor/s: Agustí Nieto-Galan

The asturian chemist José Ramón de Luanco (1825-1905), living in Barcelona since 1868, was one of the defenders of atomism in Spain, embodying its introduction in Spanish universities. He bet for a modern chemistry, based in the atomic theories, but studied as well the history of Alchemy, gathering all data he found about Spanish alchemists or treatises. In his main work, La Alquimia en España (1889 & 1897), he roughly attacks hermetic tradition and alchemic praxis. This attitude fits in with the modern atomism; nevertheless it is not obvious the incompatibility between atomism and alchemic transmutation, as it can be surprisingly seen on his textbook for his students, when he accepts transmutation between elements. Luanco was not as atomist as it could be thought and he was not as critic with Alchemy as it can be supposed when casting a glance to his work.