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Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

Chandrasekhar, Subrahmanyan (sŏbˌrəmänˈyən chŭnˌdrəsāˈkər) [key], 1910–95, American astrophysicist, b. Lahore, India (now Pakistan). He became a professor at the Univ. of Chicago in 1938 and remained associated with the university until his death. In 1953 he became an American citizen. Chandrasekhar was a major figure in the research on energy transfer by radiation in stellar atmospheres. He determined the Chandrasekhar limit, which states that stars 1.44 times as massive as the sun will collapse and become neutron stars. In 1983 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics with William A. Fowler for their theories regarding the evolution of massive stars. Chandrasekhar's work advanced the understanding of black holes, supernovas, and neutron stars. His books include An Introduction to the Study of Stellar Structure (1939), Principles of Stellar Dynamics (1943), Radiative Transfer (1950), and The Mathematical Theory of Black Holes (1983).

See A. I. Miller, Empire of the Stars: Obsession, Friendship, and Betrayal in the Quest for Black Holes (2005).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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