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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Do you know what Chandrasekhar limit is?

The Chandrasekhar limit is the maximum mass of a stable white dwarf star. The limit was first published by
Wilhelm Anderson and E. C. Stoner, and was named after Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar who improved upon
the accuracy of the calculations.White dwarfs, unlike main sequence stars, resist gravitational collapse
primarily through electron degeneracy pressure, rather than thermal pressure. The Chandrasekhar limit is the
mass above which electron degeneracy pressure in the star's core is insufficient to balance the star's own
gravitational self-attraction. Consequently, white dwarfs with masses greater than the limit undergo further
gravitational collapse, evolving into a different type of stellar remnant, such as a neutron star or black hole.
Those with masses under the limit remain stable as white dwarfs. The currently accepted value of the limit is
about 1.44 M ( 2.864 × 10 to the power 30 kg).