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Quest to save Newton's 'gravity tree'

May 09, 2007 10:18 PM IST India India

Pune: Two- hundred a eighty years after he died, Isaac Newton’s statue at Pune’s Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics has big problems to ponder.

Not why the apple falls to the ground- but why an entire apple tree in the university area may do so.

And it is no ordinary tree that is worrying Director of the institute Jayant Narlikar. It is a descendent of the very same one that inspired Newton to his Theory of Gravity.

“It is kind of a romantic association with Newton, something Newton had been thinking under,” says Narlikar.

Narlikar brought a sapling of the ‘gravity tree’ along with two others from Australia years ago. And this is the only survivor- suffering in Pune's hot and dry weather, says expert.

"This apple tree braved the intense city heat to survive for over a decade. Nevertheless, it has inspired the people of IUCCA to leave no stone unturned, for the tree to bare the fruit of wisdom, once again,” says Nirlakar.

And what about Newton's tree's descendent to inspire another generation of scientists?

"My dream is to become a scientist. And I am very lucky and proud to have seen this tree here,” says a student.