October 19, 2017
Google Doodle: Who is astrophysicist S. Chandrasekhar? - Metro

Today’s Google Doodle honours the first astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar on what would be his 107th birthday.
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was the first astrophysicist to win a Nobel Prize for his theoretical studies of the evolution of the stars.
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.
He developed the Chandrasekhar limit while he was at the University of Cambridge, which explained that the mass of a white dwarf star could not exceed 1.44 times that of the sun.

Google Doodle: Who is astrophysicist S. Chandrasekhar? - Metro

Chandrasekhar also worked to improve understanding of the gravitational fields within the Milky Way.
The award-winning astrophysicist spent most of his career at the University of Chicago and was editor of The Astrophysical Journal from 1952 to 1971.
He worked at the University of Chicago right up until he died in 1995 at 84 years-old.

Google Doodle: Who is astrophysicist S. Chandrasekhar? - Metro
The Google Doodle playfully Professor Chandrasekhar’s theory on white dwarf star’s mass (Picture: Google)

Google Doodle: Who is astrophysicist S. Chandrasekhar? - Metro
The Chandrasekhar limit: the mass of a white dwarf could not exceed 1.44 times that of the Sun (Picture: Google)

His Nobel Prize win was a team effort with nuclear physicist William Alfred Fowler.
It could be said that the Nobel Prize win for Chandrasekhar was written in the stars as his uncle was Nobel laureate, C.V. Raman.
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.
During World War II Chandrasekhar worked in a Ballistic Research Laboratory in Maryland, he was invited to join the Manhattan Project but delays in processing his security clearance meant he never contributed.

Google Doodle: Who is astrophysicist S. Chandrasekhar? - Metro

Chandrasekhar and William Fowler of the California Institute of Technology won the 1983 Nobel prize for Physics for their research into how stars are born (Picture: Bettmann/Getty)
While teaching, he decided that once his students achieved their Ph.D he would allow them to call him Chandra.
Despite being the first astrophysicist to win a Nobel prize, he actually saw two of his students win the prize before him.
After his death in 1995 he was survived by his wife Lalitha, who died in 2013 at 102 years-old.
Google’s homage to the astrophysicist will be shown in 28 countries today and highlights the legacy of the acclaimed pioneering astrophysicist and his discoveries.

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