A Brief History of Time

A Brief History of Time

Sir Arthur Eddington Character Analysis

Eddington was a British astronomer based at Cambridge University who was an expert on general relativity. He was Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar’s supervisor, but disliked his ideas on stars collapsing to zero size and convinced him to abandon that line of research. Eddington was known as being only one of two people who really understood general relativity in his time. He opposed the idea of black holes even when they late became more widely accepted, which Hawking uses as an example of how not to approach scientific mistakes.

Sir Arthur Eddington Quotes in A Brief History of Time

The A Brief History of Time quotes below are all either spoken by Sir Arthur Eddington or refer to Sir Arthur Eddington. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Search for a Unifying Theory of the Universe Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Bantam edition of A Brief History of Time published in 1988.
Chapter 6 Quotes

The hostility of other scientists, particularly Eddington, his former teacher and the leading authority on the structure of stars, persuaded Chandrasekhar to abandon this line of work […] However, when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1983, it was […] for his early work on the limiting mass of cold stars.

Related Symbols: Nobel Prize
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:
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Sir Arthur Eddington Character Timeline in A Brief History of Time

The timeline below shows where the character Sir Arthur Eddington appears in A Brief History of Time. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6
Human Curiosity and Ingenuity Theme Icon
While sailing to England in 1928 to work with Sir Arthur Eddington, one of the only people who understood general relativity at the time, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar worked... (full context)
Human Curiosity and Ingenuity Theme Icon
The Danger of Stubbornness  Theme Icon
...explode, it will become a black hole and ultimately collapse to infinite density. That shocked Eddington but, when Chandrasekhar won the Nobel Prize years later, it was in part for this... (full context)
Chapter 9
Human Curiosity and Ingenuity Theme Icon
The Danger of Stubbornness  Theme Icon
Hawking had to admit his mistake. When Eddington opposed black holes, he did so because he could not admit a mistake. Others often... (full context)
Chapter 11
The Search for a Unifying Theory of the Universe Theme Icon
Human Curiosity and Ingenuity Theme Icon
...specialize in certain fields, and no one can stay up to date on all subjects. Eddington suggested only two people understood the theory of general relativity in his day. Today many... (full context)