Three researchers won the 2020 Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday for propelling our understanding of black holes. Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel, and Andrea Ghez have been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for their pioneering work on space including the black holes and the Milky Way’s darkest mystery. Declaring the award, the Royal Swedish Academy of Science said one half of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Roger Penrose and the other half together to Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez.
Roger Penrose won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the black hole and the general theory of relativity.
In its reference, the Academy said Roger Penrose was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics “for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity.”
Then, Goran K Hansson, the academy’s secretary-general, said German Reinhard Genzel and American Andrea Ghez, who have together won the second half of the prize, have been awarded “for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy”, the academy said.
The prizes praise “one of the most exotic objects in the universe,” black holes, which have gotten a staple of sci-fi and science fact and where time even appears to stand still, Nobel committee researchers said.
Penrose demonstrated with the mathematics that the formation of black holes as possible, because of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Genzel and Ghez looked at the dust-covered centre of our Milky Way galaxy where something abnormal was going on, a few stars moving around something they couldn’t see.
It was a black hole. A customary black hole, however a supermassive black hole, 4 million times the mass of our sun.
Presently researchers realize that all galaxies have supermassive black holes.
It is common for a few researchers who worked in related fields to share the prize. A year ago’s prize went to Canadian-born cosmologist James Peebles for theoretical work about the early minutes after the Big Bang, and Swiss astronomers Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz for finding a planet outside our solar system.
The esteemed award accompanies a gold medal and prize cash of 10 million Swedish kronor (more than USD 1.1 million), courtesy of a bequest left 124 years prior by the prize’s maker, Swedish innovator Alfred Nobel. The amount was expanded recently to change for inflation.
On Monday, the Nobel Committee awarded the prize for physiology and medicine to Americans Harvey J Alter and Charles M Rice and British-born researcher Michael Houghton for finding the liver-ravaging hepatitis C virus.
Different prizes, to be declared in the coming days, are for exceptional work in the fields of chemistry, literature, peace, and economics.