- The maximum size of a star above which it will not become a white dwarf: about 1.4 solar masses. Below this mass, a dead star can be supported by the force preventing more than one electron from occupying the same position with the same amount of energy. Above 1.4 solar masses this force is overcome by gravitation and dead stars can ultimately turn into black holes or neutron stars. Named for Indian physicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (1910–1995) who worked mainly in Chicago and worked on problems of stellar evolution.
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