THE NOBEL PHYSICS PRIZE FOR BLACK HOLE RESEARCHERS
THE AWARD COMMITTEE CALLED, “ ONE OF THE MOST EXOTIC PHENOMENA IN THE UNIVERSE, THE BLACK HOLE”.
The Nobel Prize for Physics is shared between an English mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose, an American astronomer Andrea Mia Ghez and a German astrophysicist Reinhard Genzel. Half of the prize is awarded to Sir Roger Penrose “for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity” and the remaining half is shared between Andrea Mia Ghez and Reinhard Genzel “for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy.”
A black hole is a place in space where gravity is so strong that nothing can escape through it even the electromagnetic radiation i.e light. In 1965, Sir Roger Penrose through his mathematical calculations proved that the black holes do exist. The calculations proved that the black holes are super heavy objects and are formed when a star dies under the weight of its own gravity. Genzel and Ghez work was concentrated on a region called Sagittarius A at the centre of our Milky Way Galaxy. The orbits of the brightest and closest stars to the middle of our galaxy were mapped with great accuracy. They found that an extremely heavy, invisible object pulls and governs the orbit of the stars. Approximately four million solar masses are held together in an area no larger than our solar system.
Andrea Mia Ghez became the fourth woman to win the Nobel Prize for Physics. In 1903 madame Marie Sklodowska Curie became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Physics. In 1911 madame Curie was again awarded the Nobel prize but this time it was for Chemistry. Maria Goeppert Mayer in 1963 became the second woman recipient of the Nobel Physics Prize. The third woman recipient of the Nobel Physics Prize was Donna Strickland in the year 2018.