Since the human mind is prone to vagaries, we ought not, perhaps, to be astonished that in fairly recent times both indirect and direct attempts have been made to affirm the possibility of the transmutation of base metals to gold. Berthelot himself, a sensible man, thought in 1885 that we might ulitmately pass beyond the periodic table and the certainties it appears to offer: "nul ne peut affirmer que la fabrication des corps reputes simple soit impossible a priori". Later still Fritz Paneth, in a lecture delivered at Cornell University, said that "the trend of modern chemistry is toward rather than away from the theories which were condemned by the official science of the last century" and urged that the positive and negative particles of hydrogen might be primordial matter of the kind sought by the alchemists.
-- Wayne Shumaker, The Occult Sciences in the Renaissance, A Study in Intellectual Patterns (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1972)
Alchemist following in the footsteps of Nature Atalanta
Fritz Paneth, Heinz On The Beach, 1929, Autochrome
Marcellin Pierre Eugene Berthelot (1827- 1907)
Marcel Duchamp, 50 cc Paris Air, 1919