3 scientists share Nobel physics prize for black hole research

Updated 6th Oct 2020 | 17:05 IST

Stockholm: Roger Penrose of England, Reinhard Genzel of Germany and Andrea Ghez of the US won the Nobel Physics Prize on Tuesday for his or her research into black holes, the Nobel jury said.
The physicists were selected “for their discoveries about one among the foremost exotic phenomena within the universe, the region,” the Nobel Committee said.

Penrose, 89, was honoured for showing “that the overall theory of relativity results in the formation of black holes”, while Genzel, 68, and Ghez, 55, were jointly awarded for locating “that an invisible and very heavy object governs the orbits of stars at the centre of our galaxy,” the jury said.

Ghez is simply the fourth woman to receive the physics prize since 1901 when the primary Nobel prizes were handed out.

“I hope I can inspire other young women into the sector,” Ghez told a news conference after the award was announced.

The term “black hole” refers to some extent in space where the matter is so compressed on creating a gravity field from which even light cannot escape.

Penrose, who is predicated at the University of Oxford, used mathematical modelling to prove back in 1965 that black holes can form, becoming an entity from which nothing, not even light, may escape.

His calculations proved that black holes — super-dense objects formed when an important star collapses under a load of its own gravity — are an immediate consequence of Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

Genzel and Ghez have led research since the first 1990s that specialize in a neighbourhood called Sagittarius A* at the centre of the Milky Way.

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Using the world’s largest telescopes, they found a particularly heavy, invisible object — around 4 million times greater than the mass of our Sun — that pulls on surrounding stars, giving our galaxy its characteristic swirl.

The pair especially developed methods to ascertain through the large clouds of interstellar gas and mud to the centre of the Milky Way, creating new techniques to catch up on the image distortion caused by Earth’s atmosphere.

In April 2019, astronomers unveiled the primary photo of a region.

Genzel is connected to the Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany and therefore the University of California.

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