Chandra: A Biography of S. Chandrasekhar

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Chandra is an intimate portrait of a highly private and brilliant man, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, a Nobel laureate in physics who has been a major contributor to the theories of white dwarfs and black holes.

"Wali has given us a magnificent portrait of Chandra, full of life and color, with a deep understanding of the three cultures—Indian, British, and American—in which Chandra was successively immersed. . . . I wish I had the job of reviewing this book for the New York Times rather than for Physics Today. If the book is only read by physicists, then Wali's devoted labors were in vain."—Freeman Dyson, Physics Today

"An enthralling human document."—William McCrea, Times Higher Education Supplement

"A dramatic, exuberant biography of one of the century's great scientists."—Publishers Weekly

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Editorial Reviews

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar has for many years enjoyed the universal respect and admiration of the physicists and theoretical astrophysicists of the world. To read this lovely book (the author is himself a physicist and an Indian, but also an exceptionally gifted biographer) is to discover that the man's inimitable intellectual style (and singular productivity) flow naturally from an equally admirable personal style. The book is, like its subject, a quiet inspiration. And it casts interesting light also on some collateral figures: Eddington, Milne, Fowler, Fermi, and especially Raman (who was Chandrasekhar's uncle). Many photos. (NW) Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Kameshwar C. Wali is professor of physics at Syracuse University.
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Table of Contents

Prologue: Tracking the Legend of Chandrasekhar
1. The Simple and True
2. Choosing the Unconventional: A Family Trait
3. Determined To Pursue Science
Lahore and Madras, 1910-1930
4. Discoveries, Personal and Scientific
Cambridge and Copenhagen, 1930-1933
5. Fellow of Trinity College
Cambridge, 1933-1934
6. The Absurd Behavior of Stars: Eddington and the White Dwarfs
Cambridge, 1934-1935
7. "I Must Push On in My Directions"
Cambridge and Harvard, 1935-1936
8. Lalitha
Madras, 1936
9. Scientist in the Midst of Political Turmoil
Williams Bay, Wisconsin, 1937-1952
10. The Autocrat of the Editor's Desk: The Astrophysical Journal
Chicago, 1952-1971
11. In the Lonely Byways of Science
Chicago, 1972-1989
Epilogue: Conversations with Chandra
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