|credit- akg-images / Johann Brandstetter
If there is anything that people know about newton then it’s the apple story. But history tends to exaggerate stories, the apple actually never fell on him. It just hung alongside a daytime moon and this inspired newton to think “Maybe the force that keeps the moon in its place is the same one that makes apples fall from trees.”
When Nicholas Copernicus said that the earth rotated on its axis and around the sun in the circle, he revolutionized science but left unanswered questions. Why then did things fall straight to the ground and why didn’t we fly off into space?
60 years later astronomer Johannes Kepler asked yet another question. He had meticulously measured planets and there no doubt they weren’t circles but ellipses. But Why? All of this was just he saw in the sky there wasn’t any math to explain it.
Newton had forgotten about the apple and moon while he was busy inventing calculus and theorizing about the nature of light. He even gained a rival, Robert Hooke. Hooke is an already prominent physicist who disagreed with Newton.
Some years later for reasons still unclear he locked himself up in the study and set off to solve the mystery of elliptical orbits of planets and satellites. He had some idea, but he was stuck his math didn’t add up.
It was all odds his rival Hooke who suggested a small change in one of his formulas this drove him to work non-stop until he came up with what he needed a set of laws that could be used to describe how objects moved whether they’re planets, comets, projectiles or falling apples.
Combining these laws the mystery was solved the moon wanted to travel on the straight path and the gravity of the earth pulled it closer making it go faster and straighter and so on.
Newton had been right all along. He wrote all this in a book known as the Principia. Robert Hooke was briefly acknowledged in it, but he felt that Newton had stolen his idea, and he was so furious.
Robert Hooke decided not to retire as president of the royal society because newton was next in line. They continued fighting until Hooke’s death. By then science was forever changed. Newton had been the first person to use math to explain nature.