The Chandrasekhar equation is a theoretical formula that gives the maximum possible mass of a stable white dwarf star. It was derived by the Indian astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar in 1930, and it provides a fundamental limit to the mass of a white dwarf, which is a dense, compact star that has exhausted its nuclear fuel and is supported against gravitational collapse by electron degeneracy pressure.
The Chandrasekhar equation is derived from the laws of quantum mechanics and classical mechanics, and it takes into account the degeneracy pressure of electrons, which is the pressure that arises when electrons are packed so tightly that they cannot occupy the same quantum states. The equation relates the mass of a white dwarf star to its radius and to fundamental physical constants, such as the gravitational constant, Planck’s constant, and the mass and charge of the electron.
The Chandrasekhar equation predicts that the maximum mass of a stable white dwarf is about 1.44 times the mass of the Sun, which is known as the Chandrasekhar limit. White dwarfs with masses exceeding the Chandrasekhar limit are thought to collapse and explode as supernovae, which can leave behind neutron stars or black holes.
The Chandrasekhar equation has important implications for the evolution and structure of stars, and it is also relevant to many areas of astrophysics, including the study of supernovae, binary star systems, and gravitational waves. learn more about School Management System.