It is something of a tradition in the York Physics Department to welcome our new students with a talk about the apple tree growing in the departments courtyard. An apple tree with a remarkable history. The talk is delivered each year by an Honarary Fellow in the department Richard Keesing and now we finally have the opportunity to share this fascinating story to the public. This talk is provisionally set to be longer than others in the series given the amount of knowledge Dr Keesing has amassed over his many years of researching this story.
"Due to an amazing set of coincidences I have managed to show (in all likelihood!) that the tree from which Isaac Newton saw an apple fall in the late summer of 1665, and which started his speculations about the nature of gravitation, is still growing today at Woolsthorpe Manor, his birthplace in rural Lincolnshire. The investigation has involved, amongst other things, dendrochronology, radio-carbon dating and genetic fingerprinting. The most convincing evidence, however was the discovery of a drawing of the apple tree and manor house taken by the Reverend Charles Turnor in 1820 and the realisation that the tree in this drawing and the tree which is now growing at Woolsthorpe Manor are one and the same." - Dr Richard Keesing