A trio of scientists have pulled in the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discoveries regarding one of the universe’s greatest enigmas: black holes.
Roger Penrose of the University of Oxford in England, Reinhard Genzel of the University of California, Berkeley, and Andrea Ghez of the University of California, Los Angeles, were named the recipients of the coveted honor Tuesday by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
The organization said Penrose earned half of the annual award for “the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity.”
The other half of the honor went to Ghez and Genzel for “the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy,” the academy said.
The recipients were announced during a press conference in Stockholm.
“The discoveries of this year’s Laureates have broken new ground in the study of compact and supermassive objects,” David Haviland, Nobel Committee chair, said in a statement.
“But these exotic objects still pose many questions that beg for answers and motivate future research,” Haviland continued. “Not only questions about their inner structure, but also questions about how to test our theory of gravity under the extreme conditions in the immediate vicinity of a black hole.”
The 89-year-old Penrose famously worked alongside Stephen Hawking, who died in 2018. The Royal Swedish Academy praised Penrose for proving in 1965 that black holes can indeed form.
Genzel and Ghez, meanwhile, were credited by the organization for providing the “most convincing evidence yet of a supermassive black hole” in the middle of the Milky Way galaxy. The duo has honed in on the part of the galaxy known as Sagittarius A(ASTERISK) for much of the past three decades.