By Jim O’Neal
In 1976, Apple Computers used a logo that featured Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) sitting under an apple tree. It was designed by Ronald Wayne, a lesser-known co-founder of the company who famously sold his stock for $800. Today, those shares would be valued at more than $50 billion.
Later, the logo changed to the more familiar rainbow apple with a bite in it.
Newton developed a complicated theory involving the universal laws of gravitation. In plain terms, it simply explains the motion of planets and ocean tides, and why we aren’t flung into space as Earth spins.
Every object in the universe exerts a tug on every other one. Sounds simple enough.
What is fairly astounding is to consider the solidity we experience all around us. One example: Billiard balls don’t actually strike each other. Instead, the negatively charged fields actually repel each other as opposed to colliding. In fact, were it not for their electrical charges, the balls would pass right through each other.
Similarly, when you sit on a chair, you are not actually sitting on it, but levitating above it at a height of one angstrom (a hundred millionth of a centimeter). Your electrons and the chair’s electrons are opposed to any closer intimacy.
The truly great physicists are generally disdainful of other scientific fields of endeavor. They have a history of disparaging remarks …
“All science is either physics or stamp collecting,” physicist Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937) once said.
Personally, I prefer coin collecting.
Intelligent Collector blogger JIM O’NEAL is an avid collector and history buff. He is president and CEO of Frito-Lay International [retired] and earlier served as chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Restaurants International [KFC Pizza Hut and Taco Bell].