This morning the Karolinska Institute awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics to two men and a woman—Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel, and Andrea Ghez—for work on black holes. As the press release notes:
Three Laureates share this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics for their discoveries about one of the most exotic phenomena in the universe, the black hole. Roger Penrose showed that the general theory of relativity leads to the formation of black holes. Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez discovered that an invisible and extremely heavy object governs the orbits of stars at the centre of our galaxy. A supermassive black hole is the only currently known explanation.
Penrose got half the prize, with Genzel and Ghez sharing the other 50%.
My Nobel Prize Contest (see here and here) is already a big flop this year, with nobody guessing even one person from each of the two sets of winners so far. Reader ThyroidPlanet, though, did guess Penrose for physics.
The Chemistry prize will be announced tomorrow, and the Literature prize on Thursday.
Below is a video of this morning’s announcement featuring Professor Göran K. Hansson, Secretary General of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The action begins at 26:15, with the announcement in both Swedish and English. At 33:15, David Havilland, chair of the Nobel Committee for Physics, and Professor Ulf Danielsson explain the significance of the discovery.