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The Square Root of a Sonnet
February 16 @ 8:00 pm - February 18 @ 8:15 pm
In the summer of 1930, a nineteen-year-old Indian boy formulated the fundamental equations that govern the ultimate fate of the stars in our Universe. To his surprise, they indicated that certain stars were destined to collapse into nothingness and become those mysterious objects that we now call black holes.
The boy’s name was Subramanyan Chandrasekhar, the brilliant Indian-American astrophysicist who won the Nobel Prize in 1983. But Chandra’s extraordinary discovery of collapsing stars was suppressed as soon as it was made. And the person responsible for this was Chandra’s own mentor and guru – Sir Arthur Eddington, Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge University and the foremost astrophysicist of the age.
Why did Eddington try to destroy Chandra? For a man renowned for his dispassionate commitment to science, Eddington’s actions have been a long-standing mystery in the annals of science. The play attempts to answer this question through an exploration of the intriguing and complex relationship between two giants of modern astrophysics – Chandra and Eddington.
It is a story of ambition, friendship and betrayal set against the backdrop of the epoch-making events of the twentieth century – the two world wars, the Indian freedom struggle and above all, the birth of the strange new sciences of relativity and quantum mechanics.