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Explorers of the darkest objects in the universe awarded with Nobel Prize 12-10



Black Holes are now mathematically proven to exist

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in physics to three scientists to discover a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. 

The prize money worth 10m Swedish kronor (£870,000) was shared among three physicists – Sir Roger Penrose claimed the half and the other half shared between Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez.  

Once doubted, Black Holes are now mathematically proven to exist.

Strange yet fascinating, black holes are incredibly dense objects formed when massive stars expire and disintegrate. Where a matter is condensed in a very little space, strong gravity is so strong that even light cannot escape. This makes black holes invisible to observers unless telescopes with special tools are used. For centuries, scientists speculated about black holes’ existence. Even Albert Einstein, who formulated the theory which would become the foundation for comprehending the black holes, was unsure if the black holes exist.

 British mathematical physicist Roger Penrose, based at the University of Oxford, won the prize for proving that black holes are an inevitable result of Einstein’s general theory of relativity using unconventional mathematical methods, and therefore can exist. His research, which he carried out 55 years ago, would have shocked Einstein, who claimed that black holes “do not exist in physical reality.” 

Penrose collaborated with Stephen Hawking and made new ideas on when gravitation produces singularities. Their theories used the Raychoudhuri equation, which helped them explain the space-time singularities.

The Penrose-Hawking singularity theorems also answer the question of when does gravitation produces singularities. These theorems made use of the Raychoudhuri equation – a pivotal ingredient to explain the space-time singularities and gravitational focusing properties in the study of the Universe.

According to Penrose, it was a “huge honor” for him to win the prize, but stated that it interrupted his current work and called it a distraction.

Two other physicists won by actually finding a real black hole. 

Andrea Ghez is the fourth woman to claim the Nobel prize in physics, after Marie Curie (1903), Maria Goeppert-Mayer (1963), and Donna Strickland (2018). She works at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles. She shared the other half of the Nobel Prize with German physicist Reinhard Genzel, the director of infrared astronomy at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics. Together, they found evidence of a black hole in the Milky Way center known as Sagittarius A*. This supermassive object has a mass equal to about 4m suns and a 24.2m km diameter.

An engineer by profession, a writer by calling.

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