Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
Summary Article: Milne, Edward Arthur from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

English astrophysicist and mathematician. He formulated a theory of relativity which he called kinematic relativity, parallel to Albert Einstein's general theory.

Cosmological theory Milne attempted to explain the properties of the universe by kinematics (the movement of bodies). Basing his theory on Euclidean space and on Einstein's special theory of relativity alone, Milne was able to formulate systems of theoretical cosmology, dynamics, and electrodynamics. He also gave a more acceptable estimate for the overall age of the universe (10,000 million years) than that provided by the general theory of relativity.

Life Milne was born in Hull, Yorkshire, and studied at Cambridge. In 1920 he was appointed assistant director of the Solar Physics Observatory, Cambridge. He then moved to Manchester as professor of applied mathematics. From 1929 he was professor of mathematics at Oxford.

Other work Milne concentrated 1920–29 on problems of radiative equilibrium and stellar atmospheres, and provided a very clear explanation of the spectral sequence and of the photospheric temperatures and pressures involved.

He was engaged 1929–32 on stellar structure, his ideas frequently being at variance with those of Eddington and Jeans. Milne suggested that a decrease in luminosity might cause the collapse of a star, and that this could be associated with nova formation. Some of his cosmological theories were developed with Irish astrophysicist William McCrea.

From 1932 until his sudden death he devoted himself to problems of relativity and cosmology. During both world wars he was engaged in research into ballistics and sound ranging.

© RM, 2016. All rights reserved.

Related Credo Articles

Full text Article Milne, (Edward) Arthur
Astronomy Encyclopedia

(1896-1950) English theoretical astrophysicist and cosmologist. At Cambridge's Solar Physics Observatory (1920-32) he solved fundamental...

Full text Article Sitter, Willem de
The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Dutch astronomer, mathematician, and physicist. He contributed to the birth of modern cosmology and was influential in English-speaking countries in

Full text Article Maths and Physics Help Page
The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

http://www.helicon.co.uk/cgi-bin/redirect.pl4?w0007844 Demystifying papers such as ‘Think like a physicist’ and ‘The day the universe went all fun

See more from Credo