S. Chandrasekhar: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
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S. Chandrasekhar: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar Wikipedia page Wikipedia

On October 19 Google has chosen to honor the first astrophysicist to win the Nobel Prize. Indian scientist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar will adorn Google’s homepage in 28 countries on what would have been his 107th birthday. The day of the doodle coincides with the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali.

The doodle shows an illustration of Chandrasekhar’s most famous discovery, the Chandrasekhar Limit, “The Threshold That Makes Life Possible.” That article explains that the Chandrasekhar Limit “is now accepted to be approximately 1.4 times the mass of the sun; any white dwarf with less than this mass will stay a white dwarf forever, while a star that exceeds this mass is destined to end its life in that most violent of explosions: a supernova.”

Although during his life, Chandrasekhar was not always appreciated or acknowledged.

Here’s what you need to know about the life of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar:


1. He Wasn’t the Only Nobel Prize Winner in His Family; Chandrasekhar’s Uncle Won in 1930

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar Google Doodle

Chandrasekhar had been known as a child prodigy in his native land, having been born in Lahore in 1910 which was then part of British-occupied India. His ethnicity was Tamil. Writing in his autobiography, Chandrasekhar wrote that his mother was “a woman of high intellectual attainments.” A separate biography says that Chandrasekhar’s father wanted his son to work in a government job. While it was his mother who encouraged her son to pursue his scientific interests.

While science clearly ran in his family as his uncle, Sir CV Raman, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930. According to the committee, Raman, who shared the name Chandrasekhara with his nephew, was awarded the prize “for his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the effect named after him.” That same year, Chandrasekhar, at age 20, finished his degree in physics at the Presidency College in Madras, India. Chandrasekhar would also publish his paper on the evolution of stars in 1930.

In 1983, Chandrasekhar finally joined his uncle as a Nobel Prize winner when he shared the award with William Fowler.


2. Chandrasekhar Loved His Wife for Her ‘Patient Understanding, Support & Encouragement’

It was in Madras where Chandrasekhar married his wife Lalitha Doraiswamy. He said of his better half that it was her “patient understanding, support, and encouragement” that made up the “central facts of my life.” His wife would live until the age of 102 in 2013.

The couple married in Madras. Their families had lived close to each other in the city. Leon Mestel had written about their marriage:

Their marriage, exceptionally, was by mutual choice rather than by arrangement. Lalitha’s family was also very interested in education, and before her marriage she worked as a school headmistress. She was an ever-present support for Chandrasekhar during their fifty-nine years together. There were no children of the marriage.

A biography of Doraiswamy on the University of Chicago’s website says that attained a physics master’s degree in 1930. Doraiswamy taught high school physics in India until her marriage and move to England in 1936. That same bio says that Doraiswamy was a regular figure at her husband’s lectures. The couple shared a love of music and she “would often sing to him.” Doraiswamy was a skilled vina and flute player. Among her own publications, that were about her husband, titles include, “My Everlasting Flame” and “Our Song.”


3. He Discovered the Chandrasekhar Limit While at Cambridge University but His Colleagues Were Unimpressed

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar Wikipedia

WikipediaAn exhibition of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar’s works in Kolkota in January 2011.

Chandrasekhar was awarded a scholarship by the Indian government to study at the University of Cambridge. During his time there as a researcher, Chandrasekhar came upon the Chandrasekhar Limit. Though his fellow students and teachers were unimpressed. On January 11 1935, Chandrasekhar presented his discovery to the Royal Astronomical Society.

Afterwards, Sir Arthur Eddington, who had encouraged Chandrasekhar to show off his findings, lectured the society and in doing so “[demolished] the young researcher’s calculations and theory, dismissing it as mere mathematical game playing.” The pair’s spat was featured in a BBC radio documentary which details Eddington calling Chandrasekhar’s theories “stellar buffonery.”

In 1944, Chandrasekhar was invited back the society where he was awarded a gold medal. That was the same year of Eddington’s death, he never apologized to Chandrasekhar.

It wouldn’t be until 1966 when computers and discoveries that came along with the development of the hydrogen bomb showed Chandrasekhar had been right all along. Then, in 1972, black holes were discovered. Chandrasekhar’s theories allowed scientists to understand this new discovery.


4. Chandrasekhar Was Invited to Join the Manhattan Project But Security Clearance Problems Prevented Him Taking Part

By 1937, Chandrasekhar had moved to America and had taken a position as deputy professor at the University of Chicago at the age of 26. He learned of the job while on a research tour at Harvard. After the breakout of World War II, Chandrasekhar was one of the many foreign-born scientists who were invited to work on the Manhattan Project in New Mexico. Though problems with security clearance prevented Chandrasekhar from working alongside Albert Einstein.

However, Chandrasekhar was afforded the clearance to work at the Ballistic Research Laboratory in Maryland. While there, Chandrasekhar worked on “The decay of plane shock waves” and “The normal reflection of a blast wave.”


5. Chandrasekhar Said of His Adopted Homeland: ‘I Have One Advantage Here in the United States. I have Enormous Freedom’

flag day history, flag day origins

Getty

When the war ended, Chandrasekhar was given American citizenship in 1953. He passed away in Chicago on August 21, 1995, at the age of 84. His death, of a heart attack, was considered sudden. Chandrasekhar talked of his love of the United States saying, “I have one advantage here in the United States. I have enormous freedom. I can do what I want. Nobody bothers me.” While in the U.S., Chandrasekhar was awarded the National Medal of Science and the Draper Medal of the U.S. National Academy of Science. In 1964, Chandrasekhar turned the chance to return to the University of Cambridge in a more senior position to stay in Chicago. Chandrasekhar published his final work just a few months before his death, Newton’s Principia for the Common Reader, despite having retired in 1980.

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Christian,

John mayor you taught me some punctuation.
But now you started writing like me.
Soon I will learn from my sister’s son’s about the punctuation.
I find it difficult to find them or learn it’s usage
Thank you for accepting me or encouraging me
God bless .

JOHN MAYOR

AN OPEN LETTER TO SUSAN SARANDON
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A few years ago, I had a wonderful dream about Susan Sarandon! And in that dream, I had visited her… and sundry of her guests, and her pets… one wintry evening! And I recall a large golden colored dog (I believe, a golden retriever!)… and an older female teen… or twenty-something girl! And although there were others, these are just a blur!
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Afterupon the departure of her guests… save, for the dog!… I had decided it was time for me to leave… and so, I had proceeded to gather by belondings in an effort to head out!
.
However… in attempting to do so, I discovered that my shoes were nowhere to be found!… and upon communicating with my beloved host (Susan!), I then learned that my missing shoes, was by design!… her design! And… was a subtle (and sweet!… and wordless!) message to me, that she desired my company… my “nocturnal embrace”! The which… I obliged!… and with much gratitude!
.
When awakening from my dream, I had come to a rather peculiar realization… and that being, that she (and other females within her family!) had descended from a lineage, with a longstanding family tradition (whether on her mother’s side, or her father’s side… or, maybe, both!) that entertained the practice of retaining the shoes of “desired male guests”! And!… that this was something that had gone on in quarters in Europe, for centuries! And I thought… how delicious!… how wonderful!… how enchanting! And I then thought, that she… my beloved!… our beloved!… was as if, the cosiest of fireplaces! And!… that porn… for her!… and souls like her!… is an ugly replacement for a more “enduring interlude”! What a gal, I thought!… what a love! And could only– can only!– desire the best for her!… and her’s!
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Well!… a couple of years after my most blissful dream, I happened upon a delightfully funny documentary that attempted to explain a “European phenomenon” within “historic homes”… no kidding!… wherein, shoes (of sundry sorts!) were “mysteriously hidden” in various areas of these quaint habitats (e.g., beneath floorboards!… and in the walls of attics!), that the storytellers were at a loss to explain! I laughed!… and I thought… I know something you don’t! And though I have virtually no facts to base my assumptions about these “mystery shoes”!… save, my splendid dream!… I am more than convinced– than not!– that the practice I have “envisaged”, is a historic custom!… and reality! And!… that the practice, is a more gracious overture to a desired male guest, than merely “debating” the course of an evening’s would-be intimacy! That is, if both minds are of more “blessed spirits”, and “obedient hearts”! It is the stuff of mature minds, and mature hearts!… of tenderness, and of repose! The stuff that brings grown men to tears!… and to contentment!
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Susan!… wherever you are!… I don’t know what all this dreaming has to do with our present worldly state of affairs! But, frankly, I don’t care about our present worldly state of affairs!… save, for the love that’s been lost, by the failures of our world! Nevertheless, I do care about you!… and your concerns about America! And I value your input!… and if for no other reason, than to support your challenge of America’s complacency!
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Yes, Susan, it hurts!… it hurts to find that such souls as these, have missed the small things in life!… the details!… the things that matter! And for thinking souls– caring souls!– it’s a constant heartache!… a constant emptiness!… a constant grind!
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What does one do– many ask!– when they’re not listening? What does one do when countless lives here… and over there (wherever!)!… are continually forfeit? Money, and power, have corrupted many!… and have ensnared righteousness!… and love! That is… so it would appear!
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But, Susan!… the love that is in you!… in us (i.e., for those who entertain such mere traditions as true love, and reality!)!… is stronger than the mean-spiritedness that is in the world!
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As the greatest love once said:… “For what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?” In other words… and for this great love!… the world is a poor exchange for a human soul! And I agree!
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To close for now… Susan!… we must continue to hope, believe, and to love! And in our patient nurturing, we may yet salvage a wayfarer to the cause of justice!… and charity! And as for those who will remain deaf, dumb and blind to the needs of others!… well!… the greatest love will soon arise, and make an end of their indifference! And we who are left… and without shoes!… will live for eternity!… and in true love!
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Please!… no emails!!… Jesus is Lord!

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