The Nobel Prize winners have been announced for 2020 recently. Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Medicine, Peace and Economics were the categories. I was interested to find out more on the winners in the Physics category. The winners are Reinhard Genzel, Andrea Ghez, and Roger Penrose.
They won the award for their discoveries in understanding our universe, especially their work on black holes. What was intriguing was their work on black holes was related to the very heart of our galaxy. Their work isn't recent, either. Dr. Ghez and Dr. Genzel have been working on this project for decades, studying the clouds of fast-moving gas and dust particles that hurtle around the Milky Way, trying to detect a black hole. The clouds seem like they are rotating around something at 30 percent the speed of light, on the verge of falling inside the black hole. In 2017, scientists confirmed the existence of black holes, so there is likely a supermassive black hole in the very center of our galaxy. The idea of a black hole is still very mysterious and even starts to fray Einstein's theory of relativity. Yet, these scientists' research has brought us one step closer to understanding these vague black abysses.
More astrophysicists have been winning Nobel awards for their outstanding discoveries in the mysteries of our universe in recent years. Last year, in 2019, the scientists James Peebles split the prize with two other fellow astronomers that helped him out (Micheal Mayor and Didier Queloz). In 2017, Rainer Wiess, Kip Thorne, and Barry Barish won the prize for discovering gravitational waves coming out of black holes. "Astrophysicists seem to own the Nobel prize these days," says Micheal Mayor. It is probably rightly so since they are helping us discover discoveries of the universe, that, in the end, can help us find out the mysteries that the final frontier holds in store.
To learn more on the recent Nobel Prize winners go here.