Earth, Our Environment - Class Notes

In 1666, at the age of 24, Isaac Newton (1642-1727) had a flash of insight and hypothesized that a falling apple and the orbiting Moon were examples of one force operating on Earth and throughout the solar system.

This was quite an intuitive leap, breaking the two-thousand year mindset of people who thought the connection between the motion of objects on Earth and the motion of the planets were about as related as numbers were to colors.

Fortunately, Newton was also a brilliant mathematician and had the ability to follow his intuition and develop a single theory to explain the observable motion of objects on Earth, the Moon, the planets.

Newton's "laws" of motion and gravity are just two of his many contributions to science and mathematics. These laws proved consistent with the available observations on the motions of objects on Earth and of the Moon and the planets.


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Prepared by: Charles J. Ammon
January 1997