A Pomeranian and The Law of Gravity

Accounts vary as to the breed at the heart of this anecdote, but The Spirit of the Dog describes “Diamond” as the Pomeranian who drove Isaac Newton into a deep depression.

As the story goes, Newton was devoted to Diamond. One night, Newton had almost finished writing revisions to his treatise on the Law of Gravity (which was “this close” to publication) when he stepped away to answer a knock on his door.A Pomeranian and The Law of Gravity Unfortunately, Newton had left burning candles on his desk, and when Diamond heard a strange voice coming from the direction of the door, she erupted into a dervish of movement in an effort to protect her master. You can see where this is going, right? Diamond knocked over the candle setting fire to Newton’s manuscript which completely destroyed it. Anyone who has ever deleted a file without first backing it up can empathize with Newton. He was so traumatized by the loss that he took to his bed for weeks (accompanied by Diamond). It was a whole year before he was able to restore his theory in full.  And because we offer a full service of educational tidbits here, we’ll refresh your memory: Newton wrote, “I deduced that the forces which keep the planets in their orbs must be reciprocally as the squares of their distances from the centers about which they revolve; and thereby compared the force requisite to keep the Moon in her orb with the force of gravity at the surface of the Earth; and found them answer pretty nearly.”  You can see Newton’s “Original Principia Mathematica in which his theory appeared in the photo at the right. Thumbnail image from Wikipedia.

 

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