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Newton and the Apple

Okay, we all know the story of Isaac Newton getting hit in the head with the apple, but is this story true? Well, not exactly, but there's more truth to it than you might think.

Newton grew up on a farm, where he certainly saw many apples fall from trees. As a young man, Newton recalled those apples and wondered whether the same force that causes apples to fall would account for the motion of the moon across the sky.

Newton applied his newly-discovered mathematical technique, calculus (he called his technique fluxions) to the problem and deduced that, if his assumption was correct, the moon would orbit the Earth every 29.5 days. That's pretty close to the actual figure of 27.3 days.

So, no, Newton did not get hit with an apple, but he did get hit with a pretty good idea - thanks to an apple.

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