Turns water into wine, dross
and headache pills into e
(see: Jesus was way cool
). Mythical entity, of course, but based on the idea that everything
can be distilled down to its essence and this catalyst
can change (or transmute
) one form to another.
The religious symbolism, especially the christian notion of transubstantiation, is clear. Nowadays, lead can be turned to gold by particle accelerators (with a lot of energy expenditure) and the chemical industry is full of alchemical catalysts.