The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded with one half to Roger Penrose and the other half jointly to Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez for their discoveries about the black hole, one of the most exotic phenomena in the universe. While Genzel and Ghez won the prize “for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy,” Penrose has been honoured “for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity.”
The three will share the prize money of 10 million Swedish kronor.
Together, Genzel and Ghez discovered that an invisible and extremely heavy object governs the orbits of stars at the centre of our galaxy. A supermassive black hole is the only currently known explanation. “I hope I can inspire other young women into the field. It’s a field that has so many pleasures, and if you are passionate about science, there’s so much that can be done,” Ghez said after her Nobel Prize was announced. Born in the City of New York, Ghez is a professor at University of California, Los Angeles. She completed her Ph.D in 1992 from California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA
Genzel was born 1952 in Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Germany. He secured Ph.D in 1978 from University of Bonn, Germany and is currently the director at Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, Germany and Professor at University of California, Berkeley.
Penrose invented ingenious mathematical methods to explore Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. He showed that the theory leads to the formation of black holes, those monsters in time and space that capture everything that enters them. Born in 1931 in Colchester, UK. He has a Ph.D from University of Cambridge, UK and is currently a professor at University of Oxford.