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Chandra Sekhar Sharma


UK NRI Widow donated Rs. 20 Lakh to Patna college
for his husband's wish


New Delhi, March 12, 2007
Subash Malhotra

UK NRI widow, Anthea Sharma who's husband professor, Mr. Chandra Sekhar Sharma died on 19 December 2005 aged 72, donated Rs.20 lakh to a Bihar college to fulfil the wish of her late husband. Mr. Chandra Sekhar Sharma always wanted to contribute to the college where he used to teach before leaving India in 1955.

Mr. Sharma aptitude for mathematics was recognised as a young child and his father, a Deputy Collector, depended on him to decode the secret wartime messages he was sent. But his father would not allow him to study mathematics, he read chemistry instead and became a chemistry lecture at Patna University.

He made his extra income by writing some of the first school science textbooks in Hindi. These were later translated into Urdu and Bengali and became best sellers throughout India.

From books's sale, he saved enough money and came to Oxford, UK in 1960 to do a doctorate under C.A. Coulson. After completing his DPhil in just two years he decided not to return to Patna and instead accepted a lectureship in the Mathematics Department of Birkbeck College. There he was able to complete the transition from chemist to mathematician. He became a professor at Birkbeck in 1979 and remained at the college until his retirement in 1998.

His many published works included:

  • A radical simplification of the minimax theory which he showed followed easily from an almost self-evident, little Hilbert space lemma.
  • Variational methods in quantum mechanics led him to develop a new calculus on complex Banach spaces in which linearity of the derivative is replaced by the weaker requirement of additivity.
  • Later this calculus provided a satisfactory explanation of why use of and , essential tools for relativity and complex manifold theory, actually works.
  • He discovered that special relativity is a mathematical model based on the Hilbert space and, once this structure had been found, all the properties of space-time and the Lorenz group follow easily.
  • His more recent work on the mathematical foundations of quantum mechanics and relativity was published in the Journal of Natural Geometry which he had founded in 1992.

With this donation, Patna college has decided to renovate and extend the examination hall and name it Chandra Shekhar Sharma Memorial Examination Hall.

His wife also gifted his research work and books to the college library of Patna to fulfil the wish of her late husband


NRI, Dr. Prabhu Goel