one half of the 2020 Nobel Prize in physics to Roger Penrose and the other half jointly to Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez for furthering the understanding of black holes he Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded , the most enigmatic objects in the universe.
More About the Discovery
- Penrose has been awarded the prize for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity, while Genzel and Ghez have been awarded the prize for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy.
- Penrose’s work has shown that black holes are a direct consequence of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
- Gravity also shapes space and influences the passage of time. It is this gravity, which is so great inside a black hole that is able to bend space and slow down time.
- Penrose used Einstein’s general theory of relativity in order to prove that the process of formation of black holes is a stable one. He proved that black holes exist and described them in detail back in 1965, ten years after Einstein died.
- Genzel and Ghez, on the other hand, have discovered that an invisible and an extremely heavy object governs the stars’ orbit at the centre of the Milky Way.
- This extremely heavy object has the mass equivalent to 4 million solar masses and is packed into an area about the size of our solar system.
- Essentially, their work tells us that at the centre of our galaxy the Milky Way lies an invisible supermassive object, of which a black hole provides a reasonable explanation. Physicists have been suspecting the existence of a black hole at the centre of our galaxy for over 50 years now.
- In order to see through to the middle of the Milky Way, Genzel and Ghez worked on developing methods and used some of the world’s largest telescopes.
- The existence of a black hole at the centre of our galaxy is what the physicists believe is what pulls a jumble of stars, causing them to rush around at high speeds.