Google Doodle celebrates birthday of legendary astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar Wikipedia

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar Wikipedia

Described as a "child prodigy" and hailed as the first astrophysicist to win a Nobel Prize for his theory on the evolution of stars, Diwali on Thursday would have been Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar's 107th birthday.

Born in 1910 in Lahore, India Chandrasekhar studied a variety of physical problems in his lifetime which contributed to our understanding of stellar structure, white dwarfs, stellar dynamics, stochastic process, radiative transfer and quantum theory. One of his most noteworthy researches were related to the radiation of energy from dying stars known as "white stars".

At an early age, Chandrasekhar decided that he wanted to be a scientist.

Chandrasekhar's theories and calculations were met with skepticism when they were first conceived in the 1930s, according to Google - 50 years before the same discoveries were to earn him a Nobel Prize.

After his death in 1995 he was survived by his wife Lalitha, who died in 2013 at 102 years-old. Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was a Nobel Prize victor for Physics. However, if a star is more than 1.4 times the mass of Sun, instead of forming a white dwarf, it explodes in a supernova or collapses into a black hole.

As a teen-ager Dr. Chandrasekhar proved a brilliant mathematician, but Sir Arthur Eddington's writing on astrophysics, in addition to a number of unusual observations, turned his attention to astrophysics.

"The star has to go on radiating and radiating and contracting and contracting until, I suppose, it gets to a few kilometers' radius, when gravity becomes strong enough to hold the radiation and the star can at last have peace", Eddington said, inadvertently describing the very thing Chandrasekhar's limit would explain: the creation of black holes.

Before Chandrasekhar, scientists assumed that all stars collapsed into white dwarfs when they died.

In 1953 he became a United States citizen, enraging his father, who felt he had betrayed his birthplace, but he remained loyal to his Indian ways, his vegetarianism and deep concern for India's future.

The Chandra X-ray Observatory at NASA has been named him.

Chandrasekhar was also an enthusiast of literature, music and philosophy of science. He also received the National Medal of Science, the Draper Medal of the US National Academy of Science, and the gold medal of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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