It’s part of Google’s trend of more frequent and aggressive Google doodles, and we’ll see whether the world tires of Sir Isaac Newton’s apple falling across the page every time they run a search. But for better or worse, it’s a celebration of Isaac Newton’s birthday on January 4th, 1643.
What is Newton’s apple all about? As the story goes, in 1666 Newton saw an apple fall from a tree in the garden of his home at Woolsthorpe, England. Newton later said it sparked a thought: “In the same year I began to think of gravity extending to the orb of the Moon.” And Newton was off and running with his theory of gravity, the planets, and everything.
Scholars like to throw cold water on Newton’s story — it was actually years later that he articulated his theory, and maybe the apple story didn’t happen at all. It seems certain that an apple didn’t fall on Newton’s head as he sat under a tree, as the scene is often shown.
But you can’t keep a good story down. And why quibble over the details? Happy Birthday, Sir Isaac Newton! You deserve the doodle.