Today’s Google Doodle pays tribute to the esteemed mathematician and astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar on what would be his 107th birthday.
Google said the animation was created to “honour the original starman whose universal theories propel current space research and modern astronomy on their ambitious missions”.
Clicking on the Doodle starts a cute 2D animation that encapsulates Chandrasekhar’s most famous theory: The Chandrasekhar Limit.
Google explained: “Today’s Doodle illustrates one of the most important of all of S. Chandrasekhar’s contributions to our understanding of stars and their evolution: The Chandrasekhar limit.
“The limit explains that when a star’s mass is lighter than 1.4 times that of the sun, it eventually collapses into a denser stage called a ‘white dwarf.
“When heavier than 1.4, a white dwarf can continue to collapse and condense, evolving into a black hole or a supernova explosion.”
Who is S. Chandrasekhar?
Best known for his discoveries on star evolution, Chandrasekhar was the first astrophysicist to win a Nobel Prize.
He was born on October 19, 1910 in Lahore, India.
Incredibly, the Indian-American scientist had pieced together his first theory before turning 20. By age 34, he was elected to the Royal Society of London.
One of 10 siblings, Chandrasekhar was home-schooled until he was 12 before going to the Presidency College in Madras, which has since been renamed Chennai.
He went on the gain a PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1933 and moved to the United States with his wife five years later.
Chandrasekhar’s early work was met with scorn from the scientific community but the went on to win the National Medal of Science, the Draper Medal of the US National Academy of Science and the gold medal of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Chandrasekhar, nicknamed Chandra, died suddenly of a heart attack in 1995 at the age of 84.
In 1999, NASA later named its flagship X-ray telescope in his honour.
Despite initially having a five-year life expectancy, the Chandra X-ray Observatory was so successful that it is still in regular use today.
British astronomer RJ Tayler paid tribute to Chandrasekhar in the Biographical Memoirs of the Fellows of the Royal Society of London.
He wrote: “Chandrasekhar was a classical applied mathematician whose research was primarily applied in astronomy and whose like will probably never be seen again.”
Source : EXPRESS