Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2000 05:49:50 -0500

Author: "Robert W. Harris"

Subject: Happy Newton's Birthday


Sir Isaac Newton was born on either Jan 4, 1643 or Dec 25,1642, depending
upon which biography you read.

(According to Larry Cartwright
"There were two calendars in use in Europe at the time of Newton's birth.
"Protestant" and "Orthodox" countries still used the Julian calendar from
the old Roman empire, but the "Catholic" countries used the new Gregorian
calendar after 1582AD. There was a difference of 10 days between the two.
England and its colonies did not adopt the Gregorian calendar until
1752AD, by which time the difference between the two calendars was 11
days. On the day of Newton's birth, an English calendar would have read
25th but a French calendar just across the Channel would have read January
4th. Since we now use the Gregorian calendar, January 4th would be the
correct date to celebrate the 356th anniversary of Newton's birth.")

At any rate, if you'd like to celebrate Sir Isaac's birth with your physics
class or physics friends, you might consider singing "physics carols",
physics material with a
dash or humor set to Christmas carol melodies. I have several at my web
site. Go to then click on Physics Carols.


Br. Robert W. Harris
Catholic Memorial High School