Google decided to celebrate the 107th anniversary of the birth of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar with a new Doodle. More commonly referred to simply as Chandra, he is the first astrophysicist to win the Nobel Prize and the father of the evolution of stars theory.
Chandra is Getting Celebrated with an Astronomically-Themed Doodle
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, who was born on October 19, 1910, was considered to have been a child prodigy. He is known, among many others, for developing and publishing his theory regarding the evolution of stars before the age of 20.
Chandra, as he is more commonly referred, is famous and the source of the Chandrasekhar limit. This is considered as being one of the most important accomplishments of the astrophysicist.
In itself, the limit contributes and is still being used for trying to understand the birth and evolution of stars.
The Chandrasekhar limit explains that, if a star has a mass lighter than 1.4 times that of the Sun, it will eventually become a “white dwarf”. If a star has a mass heavier than 1.4 times, a white dwarf can continue expanding and condensing, eventually evolving into a black hole or even in a supernova explosion.
This theory wasn’t really popular at the time, with Sir Arthur Eddington, who was one of the leading astrophysicists at the time. However, the theory became widely accepted and still used and discussed to this day.
In 1983, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics, together with William A. Fowler, “for his theoretical studies of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of the stars”.
As Google points out in its blog post about the Doodle, the American-Indian astrophysicist received “astronomical” honors. These include the Royal Astronomical Society’s gold medal and the US National Academy of Science’s Draper Medal or the National Medal of Science.
“Today we honor the original starman whose universal theories propel current space research and modern astronomy on their ambitious missions.”
Image Source: Wikimedia