Newton’s apple

newton's apple

Newton himself often told the story that he was inspired to formulate his theory of gravitation by watching the fall of an apple from a tree. Although it has been said that the apple story is a myth and that he did not arrive at his theory of gravity in any single moment, acquaintances of Newton (such as William Stukeley, whose manuscript account of 1752 has been made available by the Royal Society) do in fact confirm the incident, though not the cartoon version that the apple actually hit Newton’s head. In similar terms, Voltaire wrote in his Essay on Epic Poetry (1727), “Sir Isaac Newton walking in his gardens, had the first thought of his system of gravitation, upon seeing an apple falling from a tree.”

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