Chandrasekhar limit

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The Chandrasekhar limit is the maximum mass of a stable white dwarf star.[1] Building on work by others, the Indian physicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar worked on the calculation.[2] He published series of papers between 1931 and 1935.[3] The Chandrasekhar limit is about 1.4 times the mass of the Sun.[4]

The Chandrasekhar limit is the mass above which electron degeneracy pressure in the star's core is not enough to balance the star's own gravitational self-attraction.[5] Then, white dwarfs with masses over the limit would gravitationally collapse into a neutron star or black hole. However, white dwarfs usually explode before they undergo collapse. Those with masses under the limit remain stable as white dwarfs.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Introducing Chandrasekhar limit". Encyclopædia Britannica. http://global.britannica.com/topic/Chandrasekhar-limit. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  2. Chandrasekhar's biographical memoir at the National Academy of Sciences, web page, accessed 12-I-2007.
  3. On stars, their evolution and their stability, Nobel Prize lecture, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, December 8, 1983.
  4. Sean Carroll 2007. The Teaching Company: Dark matter, dark energy: the dark side of the universe, Guidebook Part 2 page 44. "...Chandrasekhar limit: The maximum mass of a white dwarf star, about 1.4 times the mass of the Sun. Above this mass, the gravitational pull becomes too great, and the star must collapse to a neutron star or black hole..."
  5. Electron degeneracy pressure is what makes solids seem solid.