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The development of research into liquid crystals has been due in no small measure to the pioneering work of Sivaramakrishna Chandrasekhar, known affectionately as 'Chandra', who died on 8 March.

More than 40 years ago, after postgraduate studies at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, Chandra joined the University of Mysore, India, with the remit to create a school of physics. Later, after a further sojourn in the United Kingdom, Chandra moved to the Raman Research Institute in Bangalore in 1971, where he established a liquid-crystals laboratory that soon became one of the outstanding schools of research in the field.

Chandra was a distinguished physicist and a great player on the global stage. But he never ceased to promote science in India, and received international recognition for his contribution to the advancement of science in developing countries and the teaching of physics.

Link to full obituary in Nature

Reference: Nature 428, 906 (2004)