Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.
Born: 19 October 1910, Lahore, India (now Pakistan)
Died: 21 August 1995, Chicago, IL, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
Prize motivation: "for his theoretical studies of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of the stars."
Prize share: 1/2
Stars in the universe form from clouds of gas and dust. When these clouds are pulled together by gravitational force, energy is released in the form of heat. And when a high enough temperature is reached, reactions among the atomic nuclei in the star's interior begin. Beginning in the 1930s, Subramanyan Chandrasekhar formulated theories for the development that stars subsequently undergo. He showed that when the hydrogen fuel of stars of a certain size begins to run out, it collapses into a compact, brilliant star known as a white dwarf.