Arthur Stanley Eddington (1882-1944)

English astronomer, born on 28 December 1882 in Kendal, England. He studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, and became Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge in 1912.

As a Quaker, Eddington was a conscientious objector during the First World War and with the backing of the Astronomer Royal continued his research at Cambridge during the war years. He became interested in Einstein’s general theory of relativity, and made important contributions to relativity physics.

In 1919 Eddington led an expedition to the island of Principe off the west coast of Africa, to observe the total solar eclipse of 29 May. His experimental results agreed with predictions made by Einstein, providing a verification of general relativity and leading to the theory becoming internationally famous.

Eddington’s other area of interest was the study of stellar interiors. He developed a mass-luminosity relationship for stars and described the mechanism of pulsation for Cepheid variable stars. He was knighted in 1930 and died on 22 November 1944 in Cambridge, England.