Nobel Prize in Physics winners are announced
The Nobel Prize in physics has been awarded to British-born Roger Penrose, German Reinhard Genzel, and US physicist Andrea Ghez, at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.
“This year’s prize is about the darkest parts of the universe,” the Nobel Committee said Tuesday when announcing the award in Stockholm.
Dr. Penrose, a mathematician at Oxford University, was awarded half of the approximately $1.1 million prize for proving that black holes must exist if Albert Einstein’s theory of gravity, known as general relativity, is right.
While the second half was split between Dr. Genzel and Dr. Ghez for their relentless and decades-long investigation of the dark monster here in the center of our own galaxy, gathering evidence to convict it of being a supermassive black hole.
Dr. Genzel, who was born in Germany, works at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany, and at the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Ghez, who was born in New York, Ghez is a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Dr. Genzel and Dr. Ghez lead a group of astronomers that focused on a region called Sagittarius A* at the center of our galaxy. By using the world’s largest telescopes, the academy said, the scientists had developed methods to see through the huge clouds of interstellar gas and dust to the center of the Milky Way.
Worthy to mention that Dr. Ghez is the fourth woman to win the Nobel prize in physics, following Marie Curie in 1903, Maria Goeppert Mayer in 1963, and Donna Strickland in 2018.
“I’m so thrilled,” Dr. Ghez said in an email, “I take very seriously the responsibility associated with being the fourth woman to win the Nobel Prize in physics,” adding that she hoped it could “inspire other young women into the field.”