Apple tree dating theory

07 Jan

The astronaut quipped: "I'm pretty sure that Sir Isaac would have loved to see this, assuming he wasn't spacesick, as it would have proved his first law of motion to be correct." Sir Isaac, a physicist and mathematician, is widely regarded as being one of the greatest scientists of his era.

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This was first mentioned by Sir David Brewster when he visited the house in 1830, the account of which was given by George Forbes (Professor of Physics University of Glasgow) The tree had been cared for since the 1750’s by generations of the Woolerton family, who were tenant farmers who lived in the house from 1733 to 1947.The first account of their being a specific tree in his garden from which Newton saw the apple fall appears in the book ‘A History of the Town and Soak of Grantham’ by Edmund Turnor FRS (1806) in which there appears the footnote on p160: His brother the, Rev.Charles Turnor, drew the accompanying picture of the tree in 1820 showing its position with respect to the manor house.Three centuries later, a British astronaut is set to take a piece of the same tree on a gravity-defying mission in the opposite direction.Piers Sellers, who will be the last Briton to fly on a space shuttle when Atlantis blasts off on its final mission later this week, has packed a four-inch sliver of wood from the tree that inspired the 17th-century physicist in the spaceship’s hold.The 12-day mission is expected to be the Nasa orbiter's last.The move is part of the Royal Society's 350th anniversary celebrations.The tree we have growing here in The Physics Department was provided for us by Kew Gardens in 1976.It came from the Cambridge Botanical Gardens who obtained it from the Fruit Research Station at East Malling in Kent.A piece of Sir Isaac Newton's apple tree will "defy" gravity, the theory it inspired, when it is carried into space on the next Nasa shuttle mission.The wood sample is from the original tree from which an apple fell, leading Newton to devise his theory of gravity.