A Scientific Autobiography: S. Chandrasekhar by Kameshwar C Wali

By Kameshwar C Wali

S Chandrasekhar, popularly referred to as Chandra, was once one of many optimum scientists of the twentieth century. The yr 2010 marks the delivery centenary of Chandra. His distinctive type of study, inward sure, looking a private viewpoint to grasp a specific box, after which move directly to one other used to be so distinct that it'll draw enormous curiosity and a focus between students.

As Chandra elucidates within the preface, ''The numerous installments describe intimately the evolution of my clinical paintings in past times 40 years and documents each one research, describing the doubts and the successes, the rigors and the tribulations. And the elements my quite a few affiliates and assistants performed within the of entirety of the several investigations are detailed''. it truly is certainly a impressive and infrequent record, attention-grabbing to learn and adventure the thrill, frustrations and struggles of an artistic brain

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Soon after my return from Princeton, the equivalences were established and it was a matter of only a week or two till I had all the material ready for Paper XIV. This, together with XIII, were completed late in October. The principal problems I had in mind at this time are stated at the end of Paper XIV. During November we had a whole train of visitors. Lindblad, Krishnan, then the Shajns. And I had the Gibbs lecture to prepare for. But the routine of getting the H-functions computed for the various problems was getting under way.

This paper was written and sent to the Annals of Physics in June. Also I had written up the paper on the solution of the Boltzmann equation for dilute plasmas in strong magnetic fields. Most of the ideas in this paper are due to Ken Watson. But I smoothed the corners out and did the “secretarial” job on it! And early in July we went once again to Los Alamos. The year 1956–57 in contrast to 1955–56 was somewhat less frustrating; and the award of the Rumford Medal to some extent wiped out the bad feeling of the preceding year.

In March the papers on the axisymmetric fields and motions and on the lengthening of the decay times by internal motions were completed. A large amount of calculations was carried out. However, scientificbio January 5, 2011 11:30 Turbulence; Hydromagnetism (1948–1960) Summer 1956 scientificbio Reprint volume: A Scientific Autobiography ... 39 on the whole, this period was about the most frustrating in my entire experience to date. During the winter and spring months, I lectured on quantum mechanics.

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