the magic of science
Fullmetal Alchemist Alchemy
Alchemy, It is the scientific technique of understanding the structure of matter, decomposing it, and then reconstructing it. If performed skillfully, it is even possible to create gold out of lead. However, as it is a science, there are some natural principles in place. Only one thing can be created from something else of a certain mass. This is the Principle of Equivalent Exchange.
– Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Intro
Alchemy is not a form of magic or miracles that can create something out of nothing. It is a scientific process which is about understanding the structure of matter, decomposing it, and reconstructing it. Alchemist can change the density of a matter and making it bigger or smaller. Alchemy is based on the concept of Equivalent Exchange. It is focused on the law of conservation of matter and the flow of life. Equivalent Exchange means that in order to create something something from an equal matter must be lost or “in order to create one type of matter it is necessary to supply an equal amount of the same type of matter. For example, you cannot make a stone house out of water.”
Neat Facts: Alchemy is the ancient mystical art of altering matter by using natural energy which is known as “Transmutation”. There are three process of Transmutation which are:
a.) Comprehension – Understanding the inherent structure and properties of the atomic or molecular makeup of a particular material to be transmuted, including the flow and balance of potential and kinetic energy within.
b.) Deconstruction – Using energy to break down the physical structure of the identified material into a more malleable state so as to be easily reshaped into a new form.
c.) Reconstruction – Continuing the flow of energy so as to reform the material into a new shape.
→ from wikia.com
Alchemist must understand the structure of matter and also controls the flow of energy. Transmutation is the alchemical process where the alchemist uses circles and runes in order to manipulate the flow of energy. In Fullmetal Alchemist, the alchemist from the country of Ametris receives energy from a specific “person” who is contained with millions of Philosopher’s Stone, they believe at first that their alchemy comes from the earth’s crust movement. A Philosopher’s stone is a strong red liquid shaped like a stone which can overpass the law of alchemy or the law of Equivalent Exchange. It contains human souls which becomes a powerful energy needed to perform alchemy without using transmutation. On the other hand, alchemist from the land of Xing uses energy that streams from our land to mountain tops or the flow of blood in our veins which they call the dragon’s pulse. In order to Transmute, alchemist must use energy and must be able to control the flow of it. Or else it will rebound.
Rebound happens if the alchemist does not have enough skill and knowledge. When an alchemist attempts a transmutation beyond their skill level, the amount of material that is lacking from the equivalent exchange is taken from the alchemist’s body. For example, when Edward and Alphonse tried to resurrect their mother with the process of Human Transmutation. The process rebounded because they were lacking a soul. They thought that their blood is enough to resurrect a human. That’s how a homunculus are created. Homunculus are creatures that has a physical appearance of a human being, but they are immortal and where born from a Philosopher’s stone.
Water = 35 liters
Ammonia = 4 liters
Phosphorus = 800 grams
Fluorine = 7.5 grams
Silicon = 3 grams
Carbon = 20 kilograms
Lime = 1.5 kilograms
Sodium = 250 grams
Sulfur = 80 grams
Iron = 5 grams
and other 15 elements in small quantities
Well I hope this helped you understand alchemy in a simpler point of view. This is basically what I have understood from the series whenever Edward or Alphonse explains alchemy.