London, The Royal Astronomical Society, 1934-1935. 8vo. Bound in contemporary full blue cloth with gilt lettering to spine. In "Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society", Vol. 95. Entire issue offered. A very fine and unmarked copy. Pp. 226-60; Pp. 676-93. (Entire volume: (7), (1), 778, 2, 3, (1), 2, (2), 2, (6), 3. pp].
First printing of one of the final papers in the famous controversy between Chandrasekhar and Eddington over the fate of stars of mass greater than the so-called Chandrasekhar limit.
According to Chandrasekhar a star with mass less than the limit will eventually collapse until this is prevented by 'degeneracy pressure' and result of the Pauli exclusion principle. The star will then become a white dwarf. But what happens to a star whose mass is greater than the limit. Chandrasekhar predicted that such stars will continue to collapse. Eddington could not accept this and a controversy ensued, with Bohr, Pauli and others becoming involved. But Chandrasekhar was eventually proved right, and the final state of such a star is now known to be a neutron star or a black hole.
Chandrasekhar's work on the limit aroused controversy, owing to the opposition of the British astrophysicist Arthur Stanley Eddington. Eddington was aware that the existence ofblack holes was theoretically possible, and also realized that the existence of the limit made their formation possible. However, he was unwilling to accept that this could happen. After a talk by Chandrasekhar on the limit in 1935, he replied:
The star has to go on radiating and radiating and contracting and contracting until, I suppose, it gets down to a few km radius, when gravity becomes strong enough to hold in the radiation, and the star can at last find peace. - I think there should be a law of Nature to prevent a star from behaving in this absurd way!