Mathematical Sciences

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14 November 2019

Sir David Wallace Lecture 2019: A brief History of Newton, Gravity and the Apple.

Presented By Dr Richard Keesing, University of York

About this event

Dr Richard Keesing Dr Richard Keesing

The Department of Mathematical Sciences is delighted to be gifted, from the National Trust, a clone of Sir Isaac Newton's Apple Tree from Woolsthorpe Manor, which will be planted outside the Schofield Building at 3.30pm by Sir Michael Berry and Sir David Wallace. This will be followed by refreshments in U004 Open Area, Brockington Building and Dr Keesing's lecture will begin at 5.00pm in U020.

Dr Richard Keesing's lecture abstract:

The story of Newton’s ‘discovering gravity’ when he was hit on the head by an apple has been known for so many generations that it has become embedded in our history. My research into the account which  Newton gave of his first calculations of the orbital period of the moon on seeing an apple fall from a tree and the claim that an ancient apple tree still growing at Woolsthorpe Manor was one and the same tree was largely accidental. Through many chance discoveries and a lot of hard work I have been able to unravel the facts of Newton’s account and the history of the ancient tree. And it is the case that there is a great deal more to this  ‘story’ than first I realised some forty years ago.