Oral History Interviews

Interviews that offer unique insights into the lives, works, and personalities of modern scientists

S. Chandrasekhar on his hopes for becoming a scientist.

Oral history audio excerpt

S. Chandrasekhar on his hopes for becoming a scientist.

Chandrasekhar:

Well, the principal motive which urges a young man to do science is first of all, to accomplish results which will be recognized; up to a point, I suppose, one hopes that one's work will become well known. And these motives were present.

And when I went to England, I had a shattering experience; to suddenly find myself in an environment where there were people like Dirac and Eddington and Rutherford and Hardy, not to mention all the other well known names, is a very very strong sobering experience. I was extremely optimistic in India, before I left India; but once I came to England I became very sobered if not humiliated. I didn't really know whether there was any possibility for me to accomplish in the world I found myself.