According to myth, a young George Washington confessed to cutting down a cherry tree by proclaiming, “I cannot tell a lie.” So tonight’s story asks the question “Isaac Newton and the Apple” is it “true or a lie?”.

In school most of us will have read the story about Isaac Newton, an Englishman, who, in the late 17th century was responsible for discovering the laws of motion, the speed of sound, the law of cooling, and calculus. But his most famous discovery is “Newton’s law of gravity”. The story is told that Newton, a mathematician and professor of physics, was sitting under the shade of an apple tree, when an apple dropped from a branch and hit him right on the head. Newton’s first instinct was not to shout “ouch” and look up, but the apple falling onto his head gave him the idea about gravity, and he went on to formulate the entire set of universal laws governing the motion of gravitating bodies, a theory so sound that it went unchallenged and unmodified for over 200 years.

Well l hate to tell you but it’s a lie…..Now Newton did indeed discover the law of gravity, but the apple falling from a tree had nothing to do with it. The truth, it was a professor called John Conduitt who first told the story about the apple some 60 years after Newton wrote his theory about the Law of gravity. The apple was used by Conduitt, when describing Newton’s law of gravity to students, he used the apple as a metaphor to illustrate the way gravity works in order for the students to fully understand the theory, and the explanation stuck. And what ever happened to Isaac newton? Well he spent the best part of his life formulating and perfecting his theories until he had a nervous breakdown, and finally died, insane from mercury poisoning at the age of 84, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, London in 1727.

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