Shashikumar Chitre Indian mathematician and astrophysicist

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Shashikumar Madhusudan Chitre
Born(1936-05-07)7 May 1936
Died11 January 2021(2021-01-11) (aged 84)
Alma materElphinstone College
Peterhouse College, Cambridge
OccupationAstrophysicist, Mathematician
AwardsPadma Bhushan

Shashikumar Madhusudan Chitre FNA, FASc, FNASc, FRAS (7 May 1936 – 11 January 2021) was an Indian mathematician and astrophysicist, known for his research in Astronomy and Astrophysics. The Government of India honored him, in 2012, with Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award, for his services to the sciences.[1]


Illustration of the dynamo mechanism that creates the Earth's magnetic field: convection currents of magma in the Earth's outer core, driven by heat flow from the inner core, organized into rolls by the Coriolis force, creates circulating electric currents, which generate the magnetic field.[2]
Gravitational Lensing - A Horseshoe Einstein Ring from Hubble

Shashikumar Chitre graduated in Mathematics from the Elphinstone College, Mumbai, in 1956, on completion of which he was awarded the Duke of Edinburgh Scholarship to study abroad. He joined Peterhouse College, University of Cambridge and did another bachelor's degree in 1959. In 1960, he was selected as the Peterhouse Scholar, with which he completed his master's degree. Subsequently, he got selected for Gulbenkian Research studentship, moved to Churchill College and obtained his PhD from the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics of Cambridge, in 1963.[3][4][5]

Chitre started his career as a Lecturer at the University of Leeds, in 1963, and worked there till 1966 when he obtained another fellowship to join the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. In 1967, he returned to India and joined the faculty of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, which served as the base of his research till his retirement in 2001.[4][5] He lived in Mumbai, attending to his duties as the Academic Chair Person and Professor Emeritus of the Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences (CBS) and the INSA Honorary Scientist at the University of Mumbai.[5] He was also on the board of Trustees of JN Tata Trust and worked as an Honorary Executive Director of Homi Bhabha Fellowship Council.[4]

Chitre died on 11 January 2021, aged 84.[6]

Research highlights

Chitre's scientific research was focused on solar physics, astrophysics and gravitational lensing.[5][7] He performed extensive research on the Sun's magnetic activity cycle, the solar dynamo theory, and the role of neutrinos in the solar atmosphere.[5]

Positions held

Sashikumar Chitre has been honored by fellowships by many prominent scientific institutions.[4][5]

Chitre also served as a visiting fellow or visiting professor at various prestigious institutions around the world.[4][5]

He has also held the posts of:[4][5]

Awards and recognitions

  • Padma Bhushan - 2012[1]
  • Professor A. C. Banerjee Memorial Lecture Award - 1992[4]
  • INSA Vainu Bappu Memorial Medal - 1995[4]
  • M. P. Birla Award - 1999[4]


  • SM Chitre (December 1995). "Probing the Solar Interior". Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. 16 (Supplement): 343. Bibcode:1995JApAS..16..343C.
  • F. Bernardeau; T. P. Singh; B. Banerjee; S. M. Chitre (1994). "The Quasi-Linear Evolution of the Density Field in Models of Gravitational Instability". Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 269 (4): 947. arXiv:astro-ph/9311055. Bibcode:1994MNRAS.269..947B. doi:10.1093/mnras/269.4.947.
  • Narasimha, D.; Chitre, S. M. (1993). "Probing galaxy clusters with straight arcs". Institut d'Astrophysique, Liège. 31: 641. Bibcode:1993LIACo..31..641N.
  • D. Narasimha; S. Nair; S. Chitre (1992). "Unobserved lensing agents". Lecture Notes in Physics. Lecture Notes in Physics. 406: 379. Bibcode:1992LNP...406..379N. doi:10.1007/3-540-55797-0_140. ISBN 978-3-540-55797-5. Archived from the original on 2014-08-12.
  • D. Narasimha; S. Chitre (1992). "The Triple Quasar PG1115+080". Lecture Notes in Physics. Lecture Notes in Physics. 406: 128–133. Bibcode:1992LNP...406..128N. doi:10.1007/3-540-55797-0_91. ISBN 978-3-540-55797-5. Archived from the original on 2014-08-12.
  • B. BANERJEE; S. M. CHITRE; P. P. DIVAKARAN; K. S. V. SANTHANAM (1976). "Polymerisation and the solar neutrino problem". Nature. 260 (5551): 557–557. Bibcode:1976Natur.260..557B. doi:10.1038/260557a0. Archived from the original on 2014-08-12.


  1. ^ a b "Padma". Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  2. ^ "Dynamo Theory and Earth's Magnetic Field" (PDF). Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  3. ^ "PhD". Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "INSA". Archived from the original on August 12, 2016. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "CBS". Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  6. ^ Renowned astrophysicist Professor Shashikumar Madhusudan Chitre passes away at 84
  7. ^ "IAS profile". Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  8. ^ The Year Book 2014 // Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi
  9. ^ TWAS profile

External links

  1. ^ "Microsoft". Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  2. ^ "Lecture". Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  3. ^ "International Astronomical Union". Retrieved August 6, 2014.
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