Further Antedating of "Black Hole"

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Wed Apr 16 18:00:22 UTC 2008

Here's a more notable antedating, since it casts into serious question whether Wheeler really was the coiner:

1964 _Science News Letter_ 18 Jan. 39 (JSTOR)  Because a degenerate star is so dense, its gravitational field is very strong.  According to Einstein's general theory of relativity, as mass is added to a degenerate star a sudden collapse will take place and the intense gravitational field of the star will close in on itself.  Such a star then forms a "black hole" in the universe.

Fred Shapiro
Yale Book of Quotations

From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Mullins, Bill AMRDEC [Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL]
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 3:08 PM
Subject: black hole antedating (UNCLASSIFIED)

Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Physicist John Wheeler, age 96, just died.  His NYT obit (among others)
credits him with coining the term "black hole".

OED has 1968.

"'Black Holes' May Be Key to Universe" (Associated Press) _The Hartford
Courant_; Dec 30, 1967; pg. 13A col 1
"The universe, said Dr. John A. Wheeler, may be dotted with "black
holes," the remnants of stars that have collapsed upon themselves,
matter so tightly packed that it no longer can be seen, small pockets of
something that look like nothing."
Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list