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Arthur Eddington
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Astronomer
    (December 28, 1882-November 22, 1944)
    Born in Kendal, England, United Kingdom
    Astrophysicist
    During an eclipse, measured the displacement of stars caused by the gravity of the Sun, producing experimental support for Einstein's Theory of Relativity (May 29, 1919)
    Wrote 'Space, Time and Gravitation: An Outline of the General Relativity Theory' (1920), 'The Mathematical Theory of Relativity' (1923), 'Stars and Atoms' (1926), 'Science and the Unseen World' (1930), 'Why I Believe in God: Science and Religion as a Scientist Sees It' (1930), 'New Pathways in Science' (1935) and 'Philosophy of Physical Science' (1939)
    Knighted (1930)
    Namesake for the Royal Astronomical Society's Eddington Medal
    He had a long-running dispute with Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, the astronomer who first proposed the existence of black holes, dismissing the idea as 'stellar buffoonery.'
    He has been accused of rejecting a majority of the measurements from the solar eclipse expedition because they failed to match the predictions of relativity.
    An interviewer referred to him as 'one of only three men who truly understand relativity.' Mistaking the ensuing silence for modesty, the interviewer apologized for embarrassing him. Eddington replied, 'No, I was just wondering who the third person is.'
    He was threatened with imprisonment when he claimed conscientious objector status during World War I.
    A British astronomer setting out to prove the theory of a German physicist was seen as symbolic of reconciliation of the two nations after WWI.
    Einstein said that Eddington's writings about relativity were 'finest presentation of the subject in any language.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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