Eddington, Sir Arthur Stanley

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Eddington, Sir Arthur Stanley,

1882–1944, British astronomer and physicist. He was chief assistant (1906–13) at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, and was from 1913 Plumian professor of astronomy at Cambridge, where he was director of the observatory from 1914. Eddington was one of the first physicists to grasp the theory of relativity, of which he became a leading exponent. He organized the expedition to view a total solar eclipse in 1919; his observations of bright objects near the sun confirmed the prediction of general relativity that light rays are bent when subjected to a strong gravitational field. He made important contributions to the study of the evolution, motion, and internal constitution of stars, but rejected the idea that gravitional collapse could produce a black hole. His theory that stars shine from the energy of nuclear reactions is considered the start of modern astrophysics. One of the foremost contemporary expositors of scientific subjects, he was also concerned with the relation of physics to philosophy. He was knighted in 1930. His writings include Mathematical Theory of Relativity (1923), The Internal Constitution of the Stars (1926; his most famous book), and Stars and Atoms (1928).

Bibliography

See biographies by A. V. Douglas (1956) and C. W. Kilmister (1966); study by Sir E. Whittaker (1951); A. I. Miller, Empire of the Stars: Obsession, Friendship, and Betrayal in the Quest for Black Holes (2005).

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Prof Schutz will receive the award, named after English astronomer Sir Arthur Eddington, at the National Astronomy Meeting at Lancaster University in July.
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During a solar eclipse in 1919, a team of astronomers led by Sir Arthur Eddington, found out that a light from a distant star did bend while passing the Sun, exactly in line with the prediction made by Einstein in his General Theory of Relativity.
Four years after it was published, British astronomer Arthur Eddington set out on an expedition to observe the deflection of light by the sun during an eclipse.
In 1919 the British astronomer Arthur Eddington confirmed that idea by making careful observations of the positions of stars whose light passes close to the sun during a total solar eclipse.