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Three Awarded 2020 Nobel in Physics for Two Studies on Black Holes

Andrea Ghez is reportedly only the fourth woman to win a Nobel Prize in Physics.

Updated
World
2 min read
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Tuesday, 6 October, announced that it has decided to award the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics with one half to Roger Penrose and the other half jointly to Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez.
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The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Tuesday, 6 October, announced that it has decided to award the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics with one half to Roger Penrose and the other half jointly to Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez for “their discoveries about one of the most exotic phenomena in the universe, the black hole.”

Roger Penrose has been awarded the prize “for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity”, the Academy said, while Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez have been awarded “for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy.”

Ghez is just the fourth woman to receive the physics prize since 1901, when the first Nobel prizes were handed out, AFP reported.

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According to a press release, Penrose used ingenious mathematical methods in his proof that black holes are a direct consequence of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, adding that his “groundbreaking article is still regarded as the most important contribution to the general theory of relativity since Einstein.”

On Genzel and Ghez, the Academy said that the duo had “developed methods to see through the huge clouds of interstellar gas and dust to the centre of the Milky Way.”

“Their pioneering work has given us the most convincing evidence yet of a supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way,” the press release stated.

The trio will share the Nobel prize sum of 10 million Swedish kronor, with half going to Penrose and the other half jointly to Genzel and Ghez, AFP said.

The announcement for the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics came on the footsteps of the announcement of the Medicine prize on Monday, 5 October.

In 2019, the Physics prize was given to James Peebles "for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology", and the other half jointly to Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz "for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star.”

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