Alchemy is the ability to transform the chemical composition of materials to gold. This ability can also be used to change any matter into any other type of matter, provided that it doesn't break the law of conservation of mass, although it is usually converted to gold, it is capable of producing other elements and compounds.
- Bob Bishop was the only character known to have this ability naturally.
- Sylar has stolen this ability from Bob.
Bob has the ability to change the composition of objects. According to a blurb about him on the assignment tracker map, Bob can turn objects only into gold. The amount of mass he can affect at one time is unknown, though he has turned an adult male named Hampton Connolly entirely into gold. After transmutation, Hampton Connolly was carried out by four men on a stretcher, suggesting his weight may not have been significantly inreased. However, it is not known whether only a shell of Hampton's form was left after transformation or whether the gold Hampton was transformed to weigh less than standard gold.
It is not yet known if there are materials Bob cannot transform. So far he has only used it to transform solids, it is unknown if it is possible to affect liquids or gases with this ability.
Since Bob's power does not automatically affect anything he touches, it must require some concentration to use.
Bob can apparently generate substantial quantities of gold over time, because he implies that his power is a significant source of the Company's funding.
Utilizing control nearly equal to Bob's, Sylar was able to turn a gun to pure gold in a matter of seconds, only minutes after acquiring this ability.
- The name "alchemy" comes from Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite, who used the term to describe Bob's ability in a CBR question and answer interview.
- Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite originally held that Bob could transmute materials into substances other than gold. However, this thinking appears to have been changed. The assignment tracker map later claimed he could only convert things into gold, and Bob's ability has never been depicted as anything other than changing materials into gold. Also, Sylar turned a gun into gold while telling Elle that this is what her father could do.
- The password that Elle enters into Bob's computer in Powerless is "MIDAS". In Greek mythology, Midas was a king whose greed led the god Dionysus to curse him with the "ability" to turn everything he touched to gold -- including his own daughter.