Giuseppe Mussardo, professor of Theoretical Physics at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA, Trieste), has been invited to the "Ninety Years of Fermions" conference organized by L'accademia dei Lincei, that will be held in Rome (Palazzo Corsini, via della Lungara 10, Roma) on October 20-21. Mussardo (October 20, 6pm) will be presenting "Chandra. The Journey of a Star", a scientific documentary by Giuseppe Mussardo, with Enrico Agapito.
Here is the abstract of Mussardo's presentation:
In the late 1930, soon after the golden decades of quantum mechanics and general relativity, and just after four year of the discovery of the Fermi-Dirac statistics, the young Indian astrophysicist Subrahmanyam Chandrasekhar stirred up a shock in the scientific community by proposing an astonishing idea about the ultimate fate of the stars. Born in Lahore, in the northest part of India, and known to the world as Chandra (which means “luminous” in Sanskit), he was the first scientist to realise what could be the extraordinary metamorphosis of a star, if one takes into account relativistic effects and Fermi-Dirac statistics. He challenged the notion common in the 1930 that all stars, after burning up their nuclear fuel, become faint planet-size remnants known as white dwarf. According to his theory, instead, a star with a mass greater than 1.4 times that of the sun – now known as Chandrasekhar limit – must eventually collapse into an object of enormous density and eventually turns into the strangest object of our universe, a black hole.This was a profound and disturbing discovery that was strongly opposed by Arthur Eddington, a leading astrophysicist of the time but that, today, has been hailed as one of the most important scientific results of the XX century. The documentary presents the engaging story of science and the personal struggle of Chandrasekhar, set against the skepticism of important scientists of his time, and shows how science finally comes to accept the reality of singularities in our cosmos.