Three physicists have been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on the secrets of black holes and the Milky Way.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced, on Tuesday, that half of this year’s prize will go to the British physicist Roger Penrose, 89, for his mathematical work in 1965 showing how black holes are formed.
He found that their formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity that was supported by Albert Einstein. Penrose also found that black holes have a powerful gravity that capture everything, with even light unable to escape.
The other half of the award will be split between the German scientist Reinhard Genzel and US scientist Andrea Ghez. The two scientists were recognised for their discovery of a super massive compact object at the centre of our galaxy, known in layman’s terms as the Milky Way. Although invisible, it is also an extremely heavy object that governs the orbits of stars at the centre of the galaxy.
Since the early 1990s, both Genzel and Ghez have led two groups of researchers focusing on a region at the centre of the Milky Way. After many years of study, both groups found a super massive black hole that is both invisible and heavy.