The Newton Boogie
by Ian Hartman
(2007)
Click here to play mp3 recording in the background.

1. Before he discovered gravity
Newton was hanging round by a tree.
He did a little dance in the dark --
Tripped and fell into that bark!

He did the boogie (Funky Gravity),
He did the boogie (Funky Gravity),
Newton did the boogie down by the physics tree.

2. That apple fell onto his head --
It was then that Newton said,
"I have a name for why things fall.
Now kids will learn it in school!"

He did the boogie (Funky Gravity),
He did the boogie (Funky Gravity),
Newton did the boogie down by the physics tree.

3. Now it’s a concept that we’re taught,
In Mr. Anthony’s class, how it rocks!
One thing that we know for sure,
Because Newton broke it down we know more.

He did the boogie (Funky Gravity),
He did the boogie (Funky Gravity),
Newton did the boogie down by the physics tree.
I said Newton did the boogie down by the physics tree!


Isaac Newton (1643-1727)
Brief and entertaining biography

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This song is about the famous story of how Newton saw an apple falling, and realized that the same gravitational force that acted on the apple was responsible for holding the Moon in its orbit. It appears that this story is factual -- it occurred when Newton was forced to spend time in Lincolnshire during an outbreak of the plague in London. The story was popularized by Voltaire, whose mistress the Marquise of Chatelet wrote the first French translation of Newton's Principia. Learn more about the story of the apple. Or, you can learn more about the physics of universal gravitation.


Emilie du Chatelet
1706-1749

 
It is clear that the Marquis of Chatelet was fully aware of his wife's affair with Voltaire; the two men were on quite friendly terms. As Barbara Foster, co-author of the book "Three in Love" puts it, "The Age of Reason was nurtured by Voltaire's live-in liaison with the marquis du Châtelet and his scientist wife. Voltaire kept Emilie happy and loaned money to the marquis, whose influence kept him out of prison." The Marquise was one of the most remarkable women of her time. Read more about the love story of Voltaire and the Marquise.

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Background image: an apple from a tree directly descended from the one from which Newton's famous apple is said to have fallen. From The Fruit Blog.