Sunday, January 17, 2010

HoS Micropost: Newton and the Apple

Posted by Darin Hayton on 01/17 at 10:27 PM

We all know the story: one day in 1666 while Isaac Newton was visiting home from Cambridge, he was sitting under an apple tree when he watched an apple fall to the ground (according to some people, it hit him on the head). Prompted by the falling apple, Newton developed his theory of gravity to explain why the apple fell.

Much later in life Newton told at least two versions of the anecdote. The Independent has a nice article on the story: “The core of truth behind Sir Isaac Newton’s apple.”

Although the article indicates that the original manuscript is viewable through the Royal Society’s Turning the Pages™ exhibit, it doesn’t, in fact, seem to be there yet. There is, as a consolation, an important manuscript by Robert Hooke—his early minutes from meetings of the fledgling Royal Society. If you haven’t had a chance to use one of the Turning the Pages™ exhibits, you really should try it out.

Tags: isaac newton, manuscripts, on-line exhibitions, royal society