About the book (from the Preface):
‘Stars and Atoms’ was the title of an Evening Discourse given at the meeting of the British Association in Oxford in August 1926…A full account of the subject, including the mathematical theory, is given in my larger book, The Internal Constitution of Stars. Here I only aim at exposition of some of the leading ideas and results.
The advance in our knowledge of atoms and radiation has led to many interesting developments in astronomy; and reciprocally the study of matter in the extreme conditions prevailing in stars and nebulae has played no mean part in the progress of atomic physics. This is the general theme of the lectures.
Preface to the Third Impression:
An Appendix on ‘The Identification of Nebulium’ has been added. This deals with recent developments in a subject touched on in the lectures.
About the author (from Wikipedia):
Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington (28 December 1882 – 22 November 1944) was an English astronomer, physicist, and mathematician of the early 20th century who did his greatest work in astrophysics. He was also a philosopher of science and a populariser of science. The Eddington limit, the natural limit to the luminosity of stars, or the radiation generated by accretion onto a compact object, is named in his honour.
Around 1920, he anticipated the discovery and mechanism of nuclear fusion processes in stars, in his paper “The Internal Constitution of the Stars”. At that time, the source of stellar energy was a complete mystery; Eddington was the first to correctly speculate that the source was fusion of hydrogen into helium.
He is famous for his work concerning the theory of relativity. Eddington wrote a number of articles that announced and explained Einstein’s theory of general relativity to the English-speaking world. World War I severed many lines of scientific communication and new developments in German science were not well known in England. He also conducted an expedition to observe the solar eclipse of 29 May 1919 that provided one of the earliest confirmations of general relativity, and he became known for his popular expositions and interpretations of the theory.