Arthur S. Eddington

Eddington, Sir Arthur Stanley

Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, 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).

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).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Arthur S. Eddington: Selected full-text books and articles

The Nature of the Physical World By A. S. Eddington The University Press, 1929
New Pathways in Science By Arthur Eddington The Macmillan Company, 1935
Science and the Unseen World By Arthur Stanley Eddington Macmillan, 1929
The Expanding Universe By Arthur Eddington University Press, 1946
The Philosophy of Physical Science By Arthur Eddington The Macmillan company ; Cambridge, Eng. : The University press, 1939
Science, Religion and Reality By Joseph Needham Macmillan, 1925
Librarian's tip: "The Domain of Physical Science" by A. S. Eddington begins on P. 87
Revolutionaries of the Cosmos: The Astro-Physicists By I. S. Glass Oxford University Press, 2006
Librarian's tip: Chap. 7 "Arthur Eddington: Inside the Stars"
Philosophy and the Physicists By L. Susan Stebbing Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1937
Critical Realism: Studies in the Philosophy of Mind and Nature By G. Dawes Hicks Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1938
Librarian's tip: Chap. 8 "Professor Eddington's Philosophy Of Nature"
Philosophical Aspects of Modern Science By C·e·m·joad G. Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1932
The Evolution of Scientific Thought from Newton to Einstein By A. D'Abro Dover Publications, 1950 (2nd edition)
Librarian's tip: Chap. 36 "The Theories of Weyl and Eddington"
God's Equation: Einstein, Relativity, and the Expanding Universe By Amir D. Aczel Four Walls Eight Windows, 1999
Librarian's tip: Chap. 9 "Principe Island, 1919"
The Anthropic Cosmological Principle By John D. Barrow; Frank J. Tipler Oxford University Press, 1988
Librarian's tip: Chap. 4 "The Rediscovery of the Anthropic Principle"
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