Arthur Eddington Facts

Arthur Eddington Facts
Arthur Eddington (December 28, 1882 to November 22, 1944) was a highly renowned British astrophysicist who also made important contributions to the fields of astronomy, physics, and math. The Eddington limit, also known as the natural limit to a star's luminosity, is named after him.
Interesting Arthur Eddington Facts:
Eddington was the son of Quakers from Westmorland, England, and his father died when Eddington was two, leaving his mother with little support.
As a result, Eddington was mostly educated at home by his mother before entering a prep school for his last three years, Brynmelyn School.
He was a good student, and earned a scholarship to Owens College.
He quickly focused his studies on physics, but also devoted himself to mathematics later on.
Eddington received several scholarships as a result of his aptitude.
He received both a bachelor's and a Master's degree before moving to Cavendish Laboratory to conduct research on thermionic emissions.
When he was nominated to the post of chief assistant to the Royal Greenwich Observatory's Astronomer Royal, he created a new method for gathering statistical evidence based on what appeared to be the drift between two stars.
This earned him the Smith's Prize that same year, 1907, which also included a fellowship to Trinity College at Cambridge where he'd earned his bachelor's.
When Charles Darwin's son George died, leaving a vacancy as the Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy, Eddington was awarded the position.
When the Lowndean chair professor also died that same year, Eddington was named the head of the whole Cambridge Observatory.
Eddington's research into the interior of stars became the basis for modern understanding of of stellar processes, specifically his work on Cepheid variables.
His work helped scientists develop measurable processes for determining the temperature, pressure, and density at all of the different points inside a star.
Eddington suffered controversial scrutiny when England entered World War I; as a Quaker and a pacifist, he called on members of the scientific community to maintain their friendships and working relationships with German scientists, regardless of political differences.
This was an unpopular opinion, only made worse when Eddington was drafted and refused to fight under recognized conscientious objector status. While he was legally allowed to register as a CO, it was considered unpatriotic and cowardly by the public.
By 1918, Eddington was nearly facing a prison sentence for refusing to fight, and only the intervention of high-profile members of the scientific community who vouched for his longtime Quaker beliefs prevented him from going to jail.
Some of Eddington's most important contributions stem from his support for Einstein's theory of relativity, which was not widely accepted when first introduced.
He is also responsible for our understanding of the behavior of light from other stars that is bent by the gravitational pull of the sun, a phenomenon that is only visible during solar eclipses.


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