Today’s Google doodle spotlights the Indian-American astrophysicist and Nobel Prize winner Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar on what would have been his 107th birthday.
As a result of his work studying the evolution of stars, Chandrasekhar found The Chandrasekhar Limit, the theory that a star’s mass will determine whether a star becomes a white dwarf, a black hole or a supernova explosion.
From the Google Doodle Blog:
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.
In addition to the Nobel Prize, Chandrasekhar was awarded the National Medal of Science, the Draper Medal of the US National Academy of Science and the gold medal of the Royal Astronomical Society.
The animated doodle honoring Chandrasekhar highlights his theory around a star’s mass and its eventual evolution and leads to a search for “S. Chandrasekhar.”
Google notes that Chandrasekhar was a child prodigy, with his first scientific paper published before he was 20. He also developed his theory of a star’s evolution before turning 20. At age 34, he was inducted into the Royal Society of London.