Updated: October 26, 2019
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was an Indian American astrophysicist who spent his professional life in the United States. He was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize for Physics with William A. Fowler for "...theoretical studies of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of the stars". He was born on 19th October 1910 and died on 21st August 1995.
Chandrasekhar was born on 19th October 1910 in Lahore, Punjab, British India (now Pakistan) in a Tamil Hindu family, to Sitalakshmi (Divan Bahadur) Balakrishnan (1891â€“1931) and Chandrasekhara Subrahmanya Ayyar (1885â€“1960) who was stationed in Lahore as Deputy Auditor General of the Northwestern Railways at the time of Chandrasekhar's birth. He had two elder sisters, Rajalakshmi and Balaparvathi, three younger brothers, Vishwanathan, Balakrishnan, and Ramanathan and four younger sisters, Sarada, Vidya, Savitri, and Sundari. His paternal uncle was the Indian physicist and Nobel laureate C. V. Raman. The family moved from Lahore to Allahabad in 1916, and finally settled in Madras in 1918.
Chandrasekhar was tutored at home until the age of 12. In middle school his father would teach him Mathematics and Physics and his mother would teach him Tamil. He later attended the Hindu High School, Triplicane, Madras during the years 1922-25. Subsequently, he studied at Presidency College, Madras from 1925 to 1930, writing his first paper, "The Compton Scattering and the New Statistics", in 1929 after being inspired by a lecture by Arnold Sommerfeld. He obtained his bachelor's degree, B.Sc. (Hon.), in physics, in June 1930. In July 1930, Chandrasekhar was awarded a Government of India scholarship to pursue graduate studies at the University of Cambridge, where he was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, secured by R. H. Fowler with whom he communicated his first paper.
Chandrasekhar married Lalitha Doraiswamy in September 1936. He had met her as a fellow student at Presidency College, Madras.
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