Eddington Luminosity Limit Calculator

The Eddington Luminosity Limit is a concept in astrophysics that sets an upper limit on the luminosity that a star of a given mass can achieve without breaking apart due to the radiation pressure. This concept, established by English astronomer Sir Arthur Eddington, is fundamental to our understanding of stellar structure and the life cycle of stars.

Eddington Luminosity Limit Calculator
Eddington Luminosity Limit Calculator Results
Eddington Limiting Luminosity (LEdd) = sec

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Example Formula

The Eddington Luminosity Limit can be calculated using the following formula:

LEdd = 4πGcMmp / σT
  1. LEdd: This is the Eddington Luminosity, the maximum luminosity a star can reach before radiation pressure overcomes gravitational pull.
  2. G: This is the constant of gravitation.
  3. c: This is the speed of light.
  4. M: This is the stellar mass of the star.
  5. mp: This is the mass of a proton.
  6. σT: This is the Thomson cross-section, a measure of the probability of interaction between light and a free electron.

Who wrote/refined the formula

Sir Arthur Eddington, an English astronomer, physicist, and mathematician, first formulated the concept of the Eddington Luminosity Limit in the early 20th century. His work has been fundamental to the field of astrophysics, with the Eddington Limit being one of the crucial elements in understanding the life cycles of stars. This concept has also found relevance in the field of cosmology.

Real Life Application

The Eddington Luminosity Limit is a vital tool in astrophysics, especially in the study of high-energy phenomena like active galactic nuclei and quasars. It helps astronomers understand the processes driving the enormous energy outputs of these objects, and thereby improve our overall comprehension of the universe.

Key individuals in the discipline

Sir Arthur Eddington is undoubtedly a key figure in this discipline. His work on the Eddington Luminosity Limit has deeply shaped our understanding of stars and the universe. Another key individual would be Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, whose work on the limit of mass for white dwarf stars has revolutionized the field of stellar evolution.

Interesting Facts

  1. The Eddington Luminosity Limit is a key factor in determining the duration of the "main sequence" phase of a star's life, during which the star shines due to nuclear fusion in its core.
  2. Understanding the Eddington Limit has implications for our understanding of the universe's structure and the life cycles of galaxies.
  3. It plays a critical role in interpreting observations from high-energy astrophysics and helps researchers make accurate models of phenomena like quasars and active galactic nuclei.


The Eddington Luminosity Limit is an intriguing and vital concept in astrophysics, shaping our understanding of stellar structures and the broader cosmos. By understanding these principles, we can better appreciate our place in the universe and continue to unravel its countless mysteries.

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