Subrahmanyam Chandrasekhar Biography

One of the greatest scientists of the 20th century, Subrahmanyam Chandrasekhar was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1983 jointly with the nuclear astrophysicist W.A. Fowler. Born on October 19, 1910 in Lahore, his father was an officer in the Indian Audits and Accounts Department while the famous scientists Sir C.V. Raman was his uncle. He had his education at home till the age of 12 and started his school education in 1922 at the age of 12. He joined the Madras Presidency College in 1925.

He went on to complete his Bachelors degree in June 1930. The same year he was awarded a Government of India scholarship for pursue his doctoral studies in England. He completed his Ph.D. degree at Cambridge in 1933 and in the same year was elected to a Prize Fellowship at Trinity College for the period 1933-37. He was offered a position as a Research Associate at the University of Chicago in 1936. He tied the nuptial knot with Lomita Doraiswamy in September 1936.

His discovery of the Chandrasekhar Limit made him famous, which plays a very important role in understanding stellar evolution. He conducted research on many other areas which include the theory of Brownian motion, theory of the illumination and the polarization of the sunlit sky, the equilibrium and the stability of ellipsoidal figures of equilibrium, the general theory of relativity and relativistic astrophysics and the mathematical theory of black holes. This great scientist passed away on August 21, 1995.