Biography of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (1910-1995) was an influential Indian-American astrophysicist who made significant contributions to the understanding of stars, particularly in the areas of stellar structure and evolution. He is best known for his work on the theoretical prediction of white dwarfs and neutron stars and for his studies on the behavior of matter inside stars. Here is a detailed biography of his life:
Early Life and Education - Contributions to Astrophysics - Later Life and Passing of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
Biography of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

Early Life and Education:

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was born on October 19, 1910, in Lahore, British India (now in Pakistan). He belonged to a Tamil Brahmin family that valued education and science. At a young age, he displayed exceptional mathematical abilities. He studied at Presidency College in Madras (now Chennai) and later pursued his doctoral studies in Cambridge, England, under the supervision of the renowned physicist Sir Arthur Eddington.

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar’s Contributions to Astrophysics:

Chandrasekhar’s most significant contribution to astrophysics came in 1930 when, at the age of 19, he calculated the Chandrasekhar limit. This limit describes the maximum mass a stable white dwarf star can have without collapsing into a supernova or a black hole. His work provided crucial insights into the later stages of stellar evolution. Later in his career, he also contributed to the understanding of neutron stars, black holes, and the behavior of matter under extreme conditions.

Controversy and Recognition:

Chandrasekhar faced resistance and criticism for his work on the Chandrasekhar limit, particularly from Sir Arthur Eddington. Despite the opposition, his findings were eventually accepted by the scientific community. In 1983, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, jointly with William A. Fowler, for his theoretical studies of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of stars.

Academic Career and Honors to Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar:

Chandrasekhar held academic positions at the University of Chicago, where he conducted much of his groundbreaking research. He served as the editor of The Astrophysical Journal and made significant contributions to the field of astrophysics through his research and publications. He received numerous awards and honors throughout his lifetime, including the National Medal of Science in the United States.

Later Life and Passing:

Chandrasekhar continued his research and teaching well into his later years. He passed away on August 21, 1995, in Chicago, Illinois, leaving behind a legacy of profound contributions to our understanding of the universe.
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar’s work laid the foundation for the study of stellar astrophysics and has had a lasting impact on the field. His pioneering research and discoveries have inspired generations of scientists and continue to shape our understanding of the cosmos.