A native of Tamil Nadu, Chandrasekhar was born in Lahore (British India), October 19, 1910. Fellow in Chennai (formerly Madras) India, Chandra obtained his doctorate in 1933 at the age of 22 years at Trinity College, Cambridge University in the UK, under the direction of Ralph Howard Fowler (1889-1944). He got a job at the University of Chicago in 1937 and U.S. citizenship in 1953. This is one of the major theoretical astrophysicists of the 20th century. His research had oriented on the evolution of stars. It is he who found the limit (Chandrasekhar limit), from which a **white dwarf** becomes unstable. Above, she collapsed in neutron star and explodes as a supernova. In 1930, Chandrasekhar, who was 20 years, calculates the limit while traveling by boat to Bombay. He discovers that the famous **Eddington** and Fowler had forgotten to consider the effects of relativity in their calculations. His awards are numerous: - Price Rumford in 1957 (work on radiative transfer), - Bruce Medal in 1952, - Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1953, - National Medal of Science in 1966 - Henry Draper Medal in 1971, - Nobel Prize in Physics in 1983 with William Fowler for his theoretical studies of physical processes governing the structure and evolution of stars. - Copley Medal in 1984, Passion for astrophysics and quantum theory, he attended the age of 17 at a conference of Arnold Johannes Wilhelm Sommerfeld (1868-1951). The young Chandra discovered quantum mechanics of Heisenberg and Schrödinger. Sommerfeld has a decisive influence on his career as an astrophysicist. Cambridge is the best university for Theoretical Astrophysics, thanks to the astrophysicist Arthur Stanley Eddington (1882 - 1944) known for his work on Einstein's general relativity and the structure of stars. This is Eddington who piloted the expedition of the solar eclipse of 1919, which verified the predictions of Einstein's theory. Ralph Howard Fowler had studied the density of white dwarfs. | | Chandrasekhar decided to use special relativity to refine the calculations of his these director. Thus he finds the maximum mass for a white dwarf, the famous limit beyond which a star, having exhausted its fuel, collapses under gravity. Eddington is opposed for a long time to Chandra and in 1939 he wrote a book about the structure of the stars who closed definitively the question to the community of obedient scientists. Yet the conclusion of Chandra was a harbinger of the existence of black holes. In 1939 Chandrasekhar publishes the first of its treaties, "Introduction to the Study of Stellar Structure." In 1943 he published another treatise "Principles of stellar dynamics". In 1950, "Radiative Transfer" deals with the theory of stellar atmospheres. In 1961 he published Hydrodynamic and hydromagnetic Stability. After the discovery of quasars and CMB, Chandrasekhar published several articles bright, on the theory of relativistic stars and their stabilities. Neutron Stars, Black Holes and Quasar are his favorite subjects of study. In 1983, he sums up all his work in "The Mathematical Theory of Black Holes." ### Image: size of Earth compared to a white dwarf. | | ### Image: **Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar** (1910 - 1995), called Chandra, is the nephew of Nobel laureate Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman physics laureate in 1930. Nobel Prize himself in 1983, his name was given to the asteroid Chandra (1958) and X-ray Space Telescope put into orbit by the Space Shuttle Columbia July 23, 1999. He was a member of the Royal Society from 1944 until his death. He died at 84, August 21, 1995 in Chicago in the United States. |