Albert Mathews

Albert MathewsIn hmolscience, Albert Prescott Mathews (1871-1957) was an American biochemist, physical chemist, and physiologist noted for his 1924 general cytology chapter “Chemistry and Psychism” in which he gives a discussion on the life, death, and the ‘souls’ of atoms (see: dead atoms) in terms of energy, light, and ether.

Dead atoms | Atomic souls
See main: Do atoms have souls?
In 1924, Mathews, in his General Cytology, chapter “Chemistry and Psychism”, cited by Edwin Slosson (1925), gives a discussion on the life, death, and the ‘souls’ of atoms (see: dead atoms) in terms of energy, light, and ether, as follows: [1]

“It is perfectly correct, therefore, from this point of view to speak of living and dead hydrogen atoms. We can even go farther with the simile if we wish and say that when the living high reactive form of the atom passes to the dead, unreactive form, the soul of the atom escapes at the moment of death, for a ray of light leaves the dying atom an travels onward in space, until perhaps it encounters and is absorbed by some other dead hydrogen atom, which it again raises to life by thus giving it a soul. What is this soul? It is a minute portion of the luminiferous ether; of time and space; of eternity and infinity.

For us it is oxygen which thus summons the dead from the tomb; which vitalizes the dead molecules and atoms. The energy is stored in certain of the atoms of the molecules of the protoplasm in the form of widened orbits of rotation of the electrons. It is this which gives them the power of reacting and of passing back to the dead. When such electrons fall back to more stable configuration, the atom and molecule reverts to the dead and inert form such as we keep in bottles. It is the oxygen, then, which vitalizes all animals; but it is from the sun that the vital, radiant energy has come. It is in fact the luminiferous ether which has made they thing alive, for the ether is the great storehouse of energy; it is itself nothing else than space and time; energy and time. Energy is but ether divided by time. Quantity of energy is quantity of ether per second. So all goes back to the either; infinity and eternity. From it is derived our energy and life.”

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Mathews, in this regard, might be classified as an early materialist/physicalist-based soul theorist.

Entropy
On the subject of entropy, Mathews states: [2]

Entropy is an extremely baffling conception. It is sometimes erroneously treated as if it were simply a statistical, a probable, or thermodynamic factor, without any material basis. Its material basis is almost never defined and is seldom even alluded to in books on thermodynamics.”

His books include Physiological Chemistry (1915), Principles of Biochemistry (1936), Vitamins, Minerals, and Hormones (1937), The Nature of Matter, Gravitation, and Light (1927), and Space-time and Matter (date).

Education
Mathews graduated from high school at age 15, originally intending to study electrical engineering, but became captivated by William Sedgwick and E.B. Wilson’s textbook General Biology completed his BS at MIT in 1892 (in biochemistry or physical chemistry?); was an assistant in biology at MIT, 1892 to 1893; fellow in biology at Columbia University in 1893 to 1895; a student at Cambridge University, England, and Marburg University, Germany, from 1895 to 1897; completed PhD, with a dissertation on the “Physiology of Secretion” at Columbia University (1898); became an assistant in physiology at Harvard Medical School, the following year. In 1901, Mathews went to the University of Chicago, becoming head of the department of physiological chemistry. Mathew’s 1915 Physiological Chemistry was the principle American text for nearly three decades, going through six editions (1939). [3]

References
1. (a) Mathews, Albert P. (1924). “Chemistry and Psychism”, in: General Cytology (pgs. 25-28, 92), Edmund V. Cowdry, ed. University of Chicago Press.
(b) Slosson, Edwin E. (1925). Sermons of a Chemist (pgs. 11-12). Harcourt, Brace, and Co.
(c) Blavatsky, Helene P. (1937). The Laws of Healing: Physical and Metaphysical (pg. 27). Kessinger.
2. Mathews, Albert P. (1927). The Nature of Matter, Gravitation, and Light (pg. 24). W. Wood and Co.
3. Author. (1958). “Albert Prescott Mathews, Biochemist (abstract)”, Science, Apr 4, pgs. 743-44.

External links
‚óŹ Mathews, Albert Prescott – WorldCat Identities.

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