Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Schuster, Arthur

  • Oliver Knill
Reference work entry

BornFrankurt am main, (Germany), 12 September 1852

DiedBerkshire, England, 14 October 1934

German-English theoretical astronomer Arthur Schuster is commemorated in the Schuster-Schwarzschild (or reversing layer) approximation for analyzing the spectra of stars to learn their chemical composition. The idea is that you can treat the situation as if there were a hot layer, the photosphere, emitting a blackbody continuum, and a cooler layer above which imposes the absorption lines. The opposite approximation, that the continuum source and absorbing atoms are uniformly mixed, is called the Milne-Eddington approximation, and real stars come somewhere in between.  Karl Schwarzschild,  Edward Milne, and  Arthur Eddington appear elsewhere in this book.

Schuster was the son of a Frankfurt textile merchant and banker. In the wake of the 1866 “seven weeks war” when Frankfurt was annexed by Prussia, the family moved to Manchester, England. Schuster was educated privately and at the Frankfurt...

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Selected References

  1. Anon. (1906). “Professor Arthur Schuster: Biographical and Bibliographical Notes.” In The Physical Laboratories of the University of Manchester, pp. 39–60. Physical Series, no. 1. Manchester: University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Anon. (1997). The Grolier Library of Science Biographies. Vol. 9. Danbury, Connecticut: Grolier Educational.Google Scholar
  3. Kargon, Robert H. (1975). “Schuster, Arthur.” In Dictionary of Scientific Biography, edited by Charles Coulston Gillispie. Vol. 12, pp. 237–239. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.Google Scholar
  4. Muir, Hazel (ed.) (1994). “Schuster, Sir Arthur.” In Larousse Dictionary of Scientists, pp. 460–461. New York: Larousse.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MathematicsHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA