The truth about the anecdote that the apple fell on Newton’s head to devise the law of gravitation that the whole world has believed for the past 400 years
- Tram Ho
Isaac Newton is one of the greatest scientists in human history. For a long time, we have always heard the legend that when Newton was sitting under an apple tree, an apple fell on his head. It was this “golden moment” that made him suddenly come up with the law of gravitation – one of his most important studies. The interesting story has been spread and people always associate genius with apples, becoming an inspiration for creativity and learning anytime, anywhere.
In fact, did things really happen that way? Over the past 400 years, many people have turned the issue upside down and wondered how an accidental event was remembered in such detail? Is this just a fictional story to make the law of gravity more memorable and accessible?
Isaac Newton was born in 1642 near Grantham, England, the son of a farmer. He was admitted to England’s most prestigious Cambridge University in 1661. Four years later, due to an outbreak of plague, the school was temporarily closed, forcing Newton to move back to his childhood home of Woolsthorpe Manor. It was around this time that he was in an orchard and witnessed an apple fall from a tree. There is no evidence that the apple actually hit Newton on the head.
Portrait of British scientist Isaac Newton
But Newton’s observations made him think about why apples always fall straight to the ground (rather than horizontally or upwards). That experience really helped inspire him to eventually develop his law of universal gravitation. In 1687, Newton first published this principle, which states that every body in the universe is attracted to every other body with a force proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of their mass. distance between them. The law published in the landmark research report is “Principia”. In “Principia” also describes his three laws of motion.
In 1726, Newton shared the anecdote about the apple with William Stukeley, who included it in his 1752 biography “Memoirs of the Life of Sir Isaac Newton” published in 1752. According to Stukeley, the anecdote about the apple falling on his head Newton was recounted quite simply: “After dinner, the weather was warm, we went into the garden to drink tea in the shade of some apple trees. He told me that he had been in a similar scene before. when the idea of gravity came to mind. That was when the scientist was sitting in a pensive mood when by chance an apple fell.”
The law of gravitation is extremely important in the history of physics of mankind.
So it turns out that the story of the apple is true, although not 100% true, it is not a fantasy. The apple may not have hit Newton in the head, but to make it easier to visualize, many people have chosen to understand the story that way.
In fact, Newton never “discovered” gravity. According to Science, other researchers have done experiments on it and tried to find a definition that explains why everything falls to the ground, not hovering. Newton was simply the first person to write down the comprehensive law of universal gravitation.
The great mathematician and physicist died in 1727 and was buried in Westminster Abbey, London. His famous apple tree continues to grow in his hometown Woolsthorpe Manor. Generations of the family have taken care of the only apple tree in the garden. In 1816, “Newton’s apple tree” was still toppled in a storm. Some branches have been removed but a large part of the tree remains and grows back. The amazing thing is that this tree is still growing today at Woolsthorpe Manor and is now over 350 years old.
“Newton’s apple tree” is still standing after nearly 4 centuries.
Source: History, Grunge
Source : Genk