Atomic Physics and Related Subjects.: Communications to Nature.: The Problem of Stellar Luminosity

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SIR JOSEPH LARMOR, who raised certain interesting points concerning the validity of my recent work on stellar luminosity in NATURE of Feb. 22, has kindly allowed me to see some further exposition on these points which he proposes to publish in the Observatory. With his further analysis of the situation I am in complete agreement. As regards the question which he thinks still outstanding, the work of Sir James Jeans and of J. Woltjer, together with my own investigations, shows that 1ββ, the ratio of radiation pressure to total pressure varies very slowly in the photospheric layers of a star on plausible assumptions as to the absorption coefficient. It therefore satisfies his requirement of being independent of the precise surface at which it is evaluated. But it is necessary to explain the discrepancy with other existing theories.

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