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Nobel Prize honors black hole discoveries

From left, Reinhard Genzel, Andrea Ghez, and Roger Penrose Associated Press/Photo by Matthias Balk/dpa, Elena Zhukova/UCLA, Danny Lawson/PA

Nobel Prize honors black hole discoveries

A Briton, a German, and an American are sharing physics’ highest honor for their research into “one of the most exotic objects in the universe,” the Nobel Foundation announced on Tuesday. Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel, and Andrea Ghez won the Nobel Prize in physics for their groundbreaking discoveries about black holes.

What did they discover? Penrose, of the University of Oxford, used mathematics to prove Albert Einstein’s theory predicted the formation of black holes in 1964. Einstein himself didn’t think they existed. Genzel, of the Max Planck institutes in Germany and the University of California, Berkeley, and Ghez, of UCLA, separately discovered the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way in the 1990s. Ghez is the fourth woman to win the physics Nobel.

Dig deeper: Read Julie Borg’s report in Beginnings about the first image scientists captured of a black hole.

Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is a former assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.


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