Science 3 min read

2020 Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded for Black Holes Discoveries

Paramonov Alexander | Shutterstock.com

Paramonov Alexander | Shutterstock.com

Three scientists have won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discoveries about black holes.

The first scientist, Roger Penrose, is a professor at the University of Oxford. And he won half of the prize for discovering that “black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity.”

Meanwhile, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez received the second half of the 2020 Nobel Prize for Physics. The duo won the prize “for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the center of our galaxy.

In a statement about the award, a professor of natural philosophy at the University of York, Tom McLeish, said:

“Penrose, Genzel and Ghez together showed us that black holes are awe-inspiring, mathematically sublime, and actually exist.”

There’s more.

Discovering Supermassive Black Holes in our Galaxy

In 1965, Penrose used Albert Einstein‘s general theory of relativity to prove black hole formation mathematically. After that, the detailed his study in a published paper.

Then in the 1990s, two scientists, Genzel and Ghez, each leading a group of astronomers, set their sight on a part of our Milky Way galaxy. It was a dust-covered region called the Sagittarius A*, where something was going on.

At the time, both researchers noted that a weighty, invisible object was pulling on the jumble of stars. As a result, the stars rushed around at dizzying speeds.

As it turned out, that invisible object was a supermassive black hole — four times the mass of the Sun. Thanks to the study, scientists now know that all galaxies have supermassive black holes.

In a statement, the professor of theoretical physics at Uppsala University in Sweden, Ulf Danielssonsaid:

“This year’s laureates have uncovered secrets in the darkest corner of our universe. But this is not just an old adventure coming to its triumphant conclusion, it is a new one beginning.”

About The 2020 Nobel Prize Awards

The three scientists received a gold medal for their discoveries about “one of the most exotic phenomena in the universe.” They’re also expected to receive 10 million Swedish Kronor prize money (about $1.1. million).

Yesterday, the committee awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine to Harvey J. Alter, Charles M. Rice, and Michael Houghton. The trio shared the prize for discovering the liver-ravaging hepatitis C virus.

The awards for outstanding works in the field of chemistry, literature, peace, and economics should follow in the coming days.

Read More: Two of the Worst Scientists Ever to Win the Nobel Prize

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Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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