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Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
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Scientist
    (October 19, 1910-August 21, 1995)
    Born in Lahore, Pakistan
    Astrophysicist known for his work on the structure and evolution of stars
    Calculated the Chandrasekhar Limit for the maximum mass of a white dwarf (about 1.44 solar masses)
    Larger stars explode as supernovae, then collapse into either neutron stars or black holes
    First to propose the existence of black holes
    Naturalized US citizen (1953)
    Edited 'The Astrophysical Journal' (1952-71)
    Wrote the books 'Principles of Stellar Dynamics' (1942), 'Plasma Physics' (1960), 'The Mathematical Theory of Black Holes' (1983), 'Truth and Beauty: Aesthetics and Motivations in Science' (1987) and 'Newton's Principia for the Common Reader' (1995)
    Awarded the National Medal of Science (1966)
    Co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics (1983)
    Nephew of C.V. Raman, winner of the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics
    His name is a bitch to say and write.
    He was a vegetarian.
    He considered leaving astrophysics after Sir Arthur Eddington mocked his suggestion that a massive star could collapse past white dwarf size into a point source.
    He complained that the Nobel Prize committee cited only his early work on white dwarfs, which he felt denigrated his later achievements.
    He let friends, students and colleagues address him by the less daunting 'Chandra.'
    He was married to Lalitha Doraiswamy for 59 years.
    Eddington later sponsored his membership in the Royal Society. (Presumably Eddington's way of saying, 'Guess you were right about black holes. My bad.')
    He was the namesake for NASA's Chandra X-Ray Obervatory.
    British Astronomer Royal Martin Rees said, 'Chandra probably thought longer and deeper about our universe than anyone since Einstein.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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