Three scientists Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel, and Andrea Ghezhave, have been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for work to understand black holes, at a news conference in Stockholm.

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Britain’s Roger Penrose of the University of Oxford, for demonstrating that the general theory of relativity leads to the formation of black holes; and to Reinhard Genzel of Germany the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and U.S. scientist Andrea Ghez of the University of California Los Angeles, for their discoveries about one of the most exotic phenomena in the universe, the black hole, the award-giving body said on Tuesday.

The announcement was made at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm. The chemistry, literature, and peace prizes will be awarded later this week, and the economics prize will be awarded next Monday. 

The prize, 10 million Swedish krona ($1.12 million), will be half awarded to Penrose and the remainder will be shared by Genzel and Ghez.

Penrose, professor at the University of Oxford, won half the prize for his work using mathematics to prove that black holes are a direct consequence of the general theory of relativity.

Genzel, of the Max Planck Institute and the University of California, Berkeley, and Ghez, at the University of California, Los Angeles, shared the other half for discovering that an invisible and extremely heavy object governs the orbits of stars at the center of our galaxy.

“The discoveries of this year’s Laureates have broken new ground in the study of compact and supermassive objects,” David Haviland, chair of the Nobel Committee for Physics, said, “But these exotic objects still pose many questions that beg for answers and motivate future research.”

The Nobel Prizes will be awarded this year in a virtual ceremony because of the pandemic.

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