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Explore Alliance Presents: How Do You KNOW? – Episode #5: 'From the Apple to the Moon'

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We’ve all heard the story – Isaac Newton sat in his garden under an apple tree, looking up at the waning gibbous Moon in the early morning sky. An apple fell on Newton’s head and, Eureka! Sir Isaac realized that gravitation held the Moon in orbit! And if you ask questions? How did Newton know? How did he figure this out?

My teacher probably did what your teacher did; “Oh that’s obvious! We haven’t time for silly questions, let’s move on!” But it isn’t easy, it isn’t a silly question, and Newton’s discovery isn’t obvious – that is one of the ways we recognize the genius of Newton; he was able to look at two commonplace things we have all seen many times, fruit falling from a tree and the Moon in the morning sky – and link them together in one of the greatest tours de force demonstrations of mathematics and observation in the history of science.

We’re going to follow hands-on in the footsteps of Newton, make our own observations, touch on the math, and we will see if we can link the fall of an apple to the motion of bodies moving in elliptical orbits through space. This activity presented by Dr. Barth will teach you how to let gravity really sink in on 'How Do You KNOW?'