Science

Trio win Nobel Physics Prize for black hole research

Trio win Nobel Physics Prize for black hole research”

Britain's Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel of Germany and USA scientist Andrea Ghez won the 2020 Nobel Prize for Physics for their discoveries about one of the most exotic phenomena in the universe, the black hole, the award-giving body said on Tuesday.

The prestigious award comes with a gold medal and prize money of 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.12m), courtesy of a bequest left 124 years ago by the prize's creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel.

"In L.A. we understand all too well that our eyes can't see very far through smog", she said.

"Black holes, because they are so hard to understand, is what makes them so appealing", Ghez told The Associated Press.

The prize celebrates what the Nobel Committee called "one of the most exotic objects in the universe" and ones that "still pose many questions that beg for answers and motivate future research". This artist's concept illustrates a supermassive black hole with millions to billions times the mass of Earth's sun. Although she concluded that "Einstein's right, at least for now", the research group is continuing to test Einstein's theory, which she says can not fully explain gravity inside a black hole.

Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2020, for their findings in cosmology.

While work done by Penrose has established that black holes are a "robust" outcome of the theory of relativity and that they are formed naturally in very overdense regions, thereby proving that their formation is a stable process, the theory ceases to apply at the centre of the black hole called the singularity- "a boundary at which all the known laws of nature break down".

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His "groundbreaking" article is still regarded as the most important contribution to the general theory of relativity since Einstein, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said. These "seductive dragon of the universe" described by astronomers as the "gates of hell, the end of spacetime and gateways to eternity" "after the iconic image of the M87 galaxy supermassive black hole was unveiled in 2019, were first named "black holes" in 1983 by Princeton quantum physicist John Archibald Wheeler". Physicists have been suspecting the existence of a black hole at the centre of our galaxy for over 50 years now.

Where does research on black holes go from here?

"That's part of the intrigue that we still don't know".

Black holes are at the center of every galaxy, and smaller ones are dotted around the universe. A year later, another image seemed to indicate that the stars near the center of the Milky Way were circling something. "He did overall more significant work on this subject than nearly anyone". Running contrary to Einstein's theory, however, Penrose found that the law of physics do not apply inside a black hole and, in fact, time and space "switch roles", report Dennis Overbye and Derrick Bryson Taylor for the New York Times.

Given by the Nobel Foundation based out of Sweden, prizes have been awarded annually since 1901 in Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physics, and Physiology or Medicine. Overall, 24 faculty members have received the Nobel Prize.

Ghez--only the fourth woman to be awarded the Physics prize after Marie Curie in 1903, Maria Goeppert-Mayer in 1963 and Donna Strickland in 2018-- said she hoped it would inspire others to enter the field.



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