Dwarf Stars and Giant Stars

Who suggested that some stars could not end their lives as white dwarfs?

The Indian American astrophysicist Subramanyan Chandrasekhar (1910–1995) first proposed this idea. In 1936, Chandra was hired to teach at the University of Chicago and to conduct research at Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin. Over a long and remarkable career in Chicago, he made major advances in theoretical astrophysics, including work on the transfer of energy in stars and throughout the universe. He served as editor-in-chief of The Astrophysical Journal for a generation, as well. Chan dra is perhaps best known, however, for discovering that stars can evolve beyond white dwarfs to other, even denser states of matter. He is widely regarded as the leading astrophysicist of his time, and in 1983 he received the Nobel Prize in Physics.


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