Google Doodle: Who is S. Chandrasekhar? Google celebrates 'original starman'

19 October, 2017, 18:33 | Author: Oscar Goodwin
  • Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar Wikipedia page

Search engine Google on Thursday celebrated India-born USA scientist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar's 107th birth anniversary by decorating its homepage with a doodle.

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.

Chandrasekhar made his most significant discovery while working as a researcher at Cambridge University, which became known as the Chandrasekhar Limit, which was earlier discredited.

It wasn't the most popular theory at first, and Chandra's limit was infamously ridiculed by Sir Arthur Eddington, one of the leading astrophysicists at the time, during a meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1935.

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was the first astrophysicist to win a Nobel Prize for his theoretical studies of the evolution of the stars.

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.

Chandrasekhar was tutored at home until he was 12 with his father teaching him maths and physics and his mother who was devoted to intellectual pursuits, taught him Tamil.

The play off between these two may cause a supernova explosion, in which the star sends off to space much of its mass. Thanks to Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, we know!

His mathematical treatment of stellar evolution yielded numerous best current theoretical models of the later evolutionary stages of massive stars and black holes. His most important contribution in the field of science was "The Chandrasekhar Limit".

In an interivew, Chandra praised the USA: "I have one advantage here in the United States".

In 1999, NASA later named its flagship X-ray telescope in his honour. He and his wife became the American citizens in 1953. Dr. John T. Wilson, then the acting president of the university, recalled in 1975 that in the 1940's Dr. Chandrasekhar drove 75 miles from the observatory to teach a course in Chicago with only two students and then drove 75 miles back.

British astronomer RJ Tayler paid tribute to Chandrasekhar in the Biographical Memoirs of the Fellows of the Royal Society of London.

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