Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Chandrasekhar, Subrahmanyan

  • Roy H. Garstang
Reference work entry

BornLahore, Pakistan, 10 October 1910

DiedChicago, Illinois, USA, 21 August 1995

Indian-American theoretical astrophysicist S. Chandrasekhar shared the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physics (with  William Fowler) for work done in the 1930s, which established an absolute upper mass limit, now called the Chandrasekhar limit, for an astronomical object in which the pressure support comes from electrons being crowded as closely together as quantum mechanics permits. This limit applies to white dwarf stars, such as the Sun will eventually become, and to the cores of more massive stars that then collapse into neutron stars or black holes.

Chandrasekhar came from a scientific background, being the nephew of Nobel Prize winner (Physics: 1930) C. V. Raman. He received a first degree in 1930 from Presidency College, Madras (now Chennai), India, by which time he had published his first paper, on Compton scattering of energetic photons by stationary electrons. A government of Madras scholarship enabled him...

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Selected References

  1. Garstang, R. H. (1997). “Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (1910–1995).” Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 109: 73–77.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Israel, Werner (1987). “Dark Stars: The Evolution of an Idea.” In Three Hundred Years of Gravitation, edited by S. W. Hawking and W. Israel, pp. 199–276. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (On Chandra vs. Eddington.)Google Scholar
  3. Parker, E. N. (1997). “Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar.” Biographical Memoirs, National Academy of Sciences 72: 29–48.Google Scholar
  4. Saikia, D. J. & Trimble, Virginia (Editors). (2011). Fluid Flows to Black Holes: A Tribute to S. Chandrasekhar on his Birth Centenary. World Scientific Books.Google Scholar
  5. Tayler, R. J. (1996). “Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar.” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 42: 79–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Wali, K. C. (1991). Chandra: A Biography of S. Chandrasekhar. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.MATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roy H. Garstang
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ColoradoBoulderUSA