Noble Prize 2020 in Physics for Black Hole Researches

October 8, 2020 | By admin | Filed in: black hole, noble prize.

    Noble Prize for black holes

    Three Laureates share this year’s Noble 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

    theoryof relativity leads

    to the formation of black holes.

    Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez

    discoveredthat an invisible and

    extremely heavy object governs

    the orbits of

    stars at the centreof our galaxy.

    A supermassive black hole is the

    only currently

    known explanation.

    Roger Penrose used ingenious mathematical

    methods, Noble prize

    in his proof that black holes are a

    direct consequence of

    Albert Einstein’sgeneral theory of relativity.

    Einstein did not himself believe

    that blackholes really exist,

    these super-heavyweight monsters

    that capture everything that entersthem.

    Noble Prize
    Noble Prize

    Nothing can escape, not even light.

    Reinhard Genzel and

    Andrea Ghez each leada group of astronomers

    who have focused on a region at the centre

    of the Milky Way sincethe early 1990s,

    Nobel Prize.

    With increasing precision,

    they have mappedthe orbits of the brightest stars

    that are closest to the centre.

    Both groups found

    something that is

    both invisibleand heavy,

    forcing this jumble of stars to swirl around.

    Noble Prize For Black Hole

    This invisible mass has about four

    millionsolar masses

    squeezed together in a region no

    larger than our solar system.

    What is it that makes the stars at

    the heartof the Milky

    Way swing around at such astonishing speeds?

    According to the current theory of gravity,

    there is only one candidate

    – a supermassive black hole and

    Nobel Prize.

    Not even Albert Einstein,

    Nobel Prize,

    Noble Prize
    noble prize

    the father of generalrelativity,

    thought that black holes could actually exist.

    However, ten years after

    Einstein’s death,

    the British theorist Roger Penrose

    demonstrated that

    black holes can form and

    described theirproperties.

    At their heart, black holes

    hide a singularity,

    a boundary at which all the known

    laws of nature break down.


    To prove that black hole formation is a stableprocess,

    Penrose needed to expand the methods used to

    study the theory of relativity –

    tacklingthe theory’s problems with

    new mathematical concepts.

    Penrose’s ground-breaking article was publishedin

    January 1965 and

    is still regarded as the most important

    contribution to the generaltheory

    of relativity since Einstein,

    Nobel Prize.

    noble prize
    black hole

    Black holes are perhaps the strangest

    consequenceof the general theory of relativity.

    When Albert Einstein presented his theoryin November 1915,

    it upended all the previous concepts of space and

    time and get noble prize.

    Noble Prize in 2020

    The theory provided an entirely new foundation

    for understanding gravity,

    which shapes the universe at the largest scale.

    Since then, this theory has provided the

    basisfor all studies of the universe,

    and also has a practical use in one of our most

    commonnavigation tools, the GPS.

    Einstein’s theory describes how everythingand

    everyone in the

    universe is held in the grip of gravitation.

    Gravity holds us on Earth,

    it governs theorbits of the planets around the Sun

    and the orbit of the Sun around the centre of theMilky Way.

    It leads to the birth of stars from interstellarclouds,

    and eventually their death in a gravitational collapse.

    Gravitation brings shape to space and

    influencesthe passage of time.

    A heavy mass bends space and slows time;

    Nobel Prize,

    anextremely heavy mass can even cut off and

    encapsulate a piece of space –

    forming ablack hole.

    The first theoretical description of whatwe

    now call a black hole

    came just a few weeks after the publication

    of the general theoryof relativity.

    Despite the theory’s extremely complicated

    mathematical equations,

    the German astrophysicist Karl Schwarzschild

    was able to provide Einstein

    with a solution that described how

    heavy masses can bend space and time.

    Noble Prize Researchers

    Later studies showed that once a black holehas formed,

    it is surrounded by an event horizon that sweeps

    around the mass at its centrelike a veil.

    The black hole remains forever hidden insideits event horizon.

    The greater the mass, the larger the blackhole and its horizon.

    For a mass equivalent to the Sun,

    the eventhorizon has a diameter of almost three kilometres and,

    for a mass like that of the Earth,

    itsdiameter is just nine millimetres.

    The concept of the ‘black hole’ has foundnew

    meaning in many forms of cultural expression but,

    for physicists, Nobel Prize

    black holes are the naturalend point

    of the evolution of giant stars.

    The first calculation of the dramatic collapse

    of a massive star was made

    at the end of the 1930s,

    by physicist Robert Oppenheimer,

    wholater led the Manhattan Project that

    constructed the first atomic bomb.

    When giant stars, many times heavier thanthe Sun,

    run out of fuel,

    they first explode as supernovas and then

    collapse into extremely

    densely packed remnants,

    so heavy that gravity pulls everything inside, even light.

    History of Nobel Prize

    The idea of ‘dark stars’

    was consideredas long

    ago as the end of the 18th century,

    in the works of the British

    philosopher andmathe

    matician John Michell

    and the renowned French scientist

    Pierre Simon de Laplace.

    Both had reasoned that

    heavenly bodies couldbecome

    so dense that they would be invisible –

    not even the speed of light would be fas

    tenough to escape their gravity.

    A little more than a century later,

    when AlbertEinstein published his general

    theory of relativity,

    Nobel Prize

    some of the solutions to the theory’s

    notoriouslydifficult equations described

    just such dark stars.

    Up until the 1960s, these solutions were

    regardedas purely theoretical speculations,

    describing ideal situations in which stars and

    theirblack holes were perfectly

    round and symmetrical.

    But nothing in the universe is perfect,

    andRoger Penrose was the

    first to successfully

    find a realistic solution

    for all collapsingmatter,

    with its dints,

    dimples and natural imperfections.

    The question of the existence of black

    holesresurfaced in 1963,

    with the discovery of quasars,

    the brightest objects

    in the universe.

    Let’s Go

    Noble prize History

    For almost a decade,

    astronomers had beenpuzzled

    by radio rays from

    mysterious sources, such as 3C273

    in the constellation of Virgo.

    The radiation in visible light finally

    revealedits true location –

    3C273 is so far away that

    the rays travel towards

    Earth for overa billion years.

    If the light source is such a

    long way away,

    Noble prize, Black Hole
    black hole

    it must have an intensity

    equal to the light of several

    hundred galaxies,

    Nobel Prize ,

    It was given the name ‘quasar’.

    Astronomers soon found quasars

    that were sodistant they had emitted

    their radiation in the early

    childhood of the universe.

    Where does this incredible

    radiation comefrom?

    There is only one way to

    obtain that muchenergy

    within the limited

    volume of a quasar –

    from matter falling into a

    massive blackhole.

    Noble prize in Physics

    Whether black holes could form under realistic

    conditions was a question that

    puzzled Roger Penrose.

    The answer, as he later recalled,

    appearedin the

    autumn of 1964 during a walk

    with a colleague in London,

    where Penrose was professorof

    mathematics at Birkbeck College.

    When they stopped talking for a

    moment tocross a side street,

    an idea flashed into his mind,

    Nobel Prize.

    Later that afternoon,

    he searched for it inhis memory.

    This idea, which he

    called trapped surfaces,

    was the key he had unconsciously

    been searching for,

    a crucial mathematical tool needed to

    describe a black hole.

    A trapped surface forces all

    rays to pointtowards a centre,

    regardless of whether the

    surface curves outwards or inwards.

    Using trapped surfaces,

    Noble Prize

    Penrose was able toprove that a

    black hole always hides a singularity,

    a boundary where

    time and space end.

    Its density is infinite and,

    as yet, thereis

    no theory for how

    to approach this strangest

    phenomenon in physics.

    Black Hole History of Noble Prize

    Trapped surfaces became a central

    conceptin the completion of

    Penrose’s proof of the singularity theorem.

    The topological methods he introduced

    arenow invaluable in the

    study of our curved universe.

    Once matter begins to collapse and

    a trappedsurface forms,

    nothing can stop the

    collapse from continuing.

    There is no way back, as in the story

    toldby physicist and

    Nobel Laureate Subrahmanyan


    from his childhood in India.

    The story is about dragonflies and

    their larva,

    which live underwater.

    When a larva is ready to

    unfold its wings,

    it promises it will tell its friends

    what life is like on the other

    side of the water’ssurface.

    Physics Scientist for Nobel Prize

    But once the larva passes through the

    surfaceand flies away as a dragonfly,

    there is no return.

    The larvae in the water will never hear

    thestory of life on the other side.

    Similarly, all matter can only

    cross a blackhole’s

    event horizon in one direction.

    Time then replaces space and

    all possiblepaths point inwards,

    Black Hole

    the flow of time carrying everything towards

    an inescapable end at thesingularity.

    You will not feel anything

    if you fall throughthe

    event horizon of a supermassive black hole.

    From the outside,

    no one can see you fallingin and

    your journey towards

    the horizon continues forever.

    Peering into a black hole is not

    possiblewithin the laws of physics;

    black holes hide all their secrets

    behind their event horizons.

    Even though we cannot

    see the black hole,

    it is possible to establish its Noble Prize

    properties by observing

    how its colossal gravity directs

    the motions of the surrounding stars.

    Reinhard Genzel and

    Andrea Ghez each leadseparate

    research groups that explore the

    centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way.

    Noble Prize for Researches

    Shaped like a flat disc about 100,000

    lightyears across,

    it consists of gas and dust and

    a few hundred billion stars;

    one of thesestars is our Sun .

    From our vantage point on Earth,

    enormous clouds of interstellargas and

    dust obscure most of the visible light

    coming from the centre of the galaxy.

    Infrared telescopes and radio

    technology werewhat first allowed astronomers

    to see through the galaxy’s disc and

    image the stars atthe centre.

    Using the orbits of the stars as guides,

    Nobel Prize

    Genzeland Ghez have produced

    the most convincing

    evidence yet that there is an invisible

    supermassiveobject hiding there.

    A black hole is the only possible explanation.

    For more than fifty years,

    physicists havesuspected that

    there may be a black hole

    at the centre of the Milky Way.

    Ever since quasars were

    discovered in theearly 1960s,

    Black Holw

    physicists reasoned that

    supermassive black holes

    might be found inside most large


    including the Milky Way.

    Noble Prize

    However, no one can currently explain howthe

    galaxies and their black holes,

    between a few million and

    many billion solar masses,were formed.

    One hundred years ago,

    the American astronomerHarlow

    Shapley was the first to identify

    the centre of the Milky Way,

    in the directionof the

    constellation of Sagittarius.

    With later observations astronomers

    founda strong

    source of radio waves there,

    which was given

    the name Sagittarius A,

    Noble Prize

    Towards the end of the 1960s,

    it became clearthat Sagittarius

    A occupies the centre of the Milky Way,

    around which all stars in thegalaxy orbit.

    It was not until the

    1990s that bigger telescopesand

    better equipment allowed more systematic

    studies of Sagittarius A.

    Reinhard Genzel and

    Andrea Ghez each startedprojects

    to attempt to see through

    the dust clouds to the heart

    of the Milky Way.

    Along with their research groups,

    they developed

    and refined their techniques,

    building unique instruments and

    committing themselves

    to long-termresearch.

    Only the world’s biggest

    telescopes willsuffice for gazing at distant stars –

    the bigger the better

    is absolutely true in astronomy.

    Physics Scientist for Noble Prize

    The German astronomer

    Reinhard Genzel and

    his group initially used NTT,

    the New Technology Telescope on

    La Silla mountain in Chile, Noble Prize.

    They eventually moved their

    observations tothe Very Large Telescope facility,

    VLT, on Paranal mountain (also in Chile).

    With four giant

    telescopes twice the size of NTT,

    Noble Prize

    the VLT has the world’s

    biggest monolithic mirrors,

    each with a diameter

    ofmore than 8 metres.

    In the USA,

    Andrea Ghez and

    her research teamuse the

    Keck Observatory,

    located on the Hawaiian

    mountain of Mauna Kea.

    Noble Prize Economist

    Its mirrors are almost 10 metres in

    diameterand are currently

    among the largest in the world.

    Each mirror is like a honeycomb,

    consistingof 36 hexagonal segments that

    can be controlled separately to

    better focus the starlight,

    Noble Prize.

    However big the telescopes,

    there is alwaysa limit

    to the detail they can resolve

    because we live at the bottom of an almost

    100-kilometre-deepatmospheric sea.

    Large bubbles of air above the telescope,

    which are hotter or

    colder than their surroundings, Noble Prize

    act like lenses and refract the light

    on itsway to the telescope’s mirror,

    distorting the light waves.

    This is why the stars twinkle and

    also whytheir images are blurred.

    The advent of adaptive optics was crucialin

    improving observations.

    The telescopes are now equipped with a

    thinextra mirror that compensates

    for the air’s turbulence and

    corrects the distorted image.

    For almost thirty years,

    Reinhard Genzel and

    Andrea Ghez have followed their stars in

    the distant stellar jumble at

    the centre of ourgalaxy.

    They continue to develop and

    refine the technology,with more sensitive

    digital light sensors and

    better adaptive optics, Noble Prize

    so that imageresolution has

    improved more than a thousandfold.

    History of Noble Prize

    They are now able to more precisely

    determinethe stars’ positions,

    following them night by night.

    The researchers track some thirty of the

    brighteststars in the multitude.

    The stars move most rapidly within a

    radiusof one light-month from the centre,

    inside which they perform a

    busy dance like that

    of a swarm of bees.

    The stars that are outside this area,

    on theother hand,

    follow their elliptical orbits in a

    more orderly manner One star,

    called S2 or S-O2,

    Nobel Prize

    completes anorbit of the

    centre of the galaxy

    in less than 16 years.

    This is an extremely short time,

    so the astronomerswere able

    to map its entire orbit.

    We can compare this to the Sun, Noble Prize

    which takesmore than 200 million

    years to complete one lap around

    the Milky Way’s centre;

    dinosaurswere walking the Earth

    when we started our current lap.

    The agreement between the measurements

    ofthe two teams was excellent,

    leading to the conclusion that

    the black hole at the centre

    of our galaxy should be equivalent to

    around 4 million solar masses,

    packed into a regionthe size of our solar system.


    We may soon get a direct look at SagittariusA.

    This is next on the list because,

    just overa year ago,

    the Event Horizon Telescope astronomy

    network succeeded in imaging the closest

    surroundingsof a supermassive black hole.

    Farthest in, in the galaxy known as

    Messier87 (M87), Nobel Prize

    55 million light years from us,

    is a blacker than

    black eye surrounded bya ring of fire.

    The black core of M87 is gigantic,

    more thanone thousand

    times heavier than Sagittarius A*.

    The colliding black holes

    that caused therecently

    discovered gravitational waves

    were considerably lighter.

    Like black holes, gravitational

    waves existedonly

    as calculations from Einstein’s

    general theory of relativity,

    before being capturedfor the

    first time in the autumn of 2015,

    by the LIGO detector in the USA.

    Roger Penrose showed

    that black holes area

    direct consequence of the general

    theory of relativity but, Noble Prize

    in the infinitely strong

    gravity of the singularity,

    this theory ceases to apply.

    The End

    Intensive work is being conducted

    in the fieldof theoretical

    physics to create a new theory of quantum gravity.

    This must unite the two pillars of physics,

    the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics,

    Nobel Prize

    Black Hole sound

    which meet in the extreme

    interior of blackholes,

    Noble Prize

    At the same time, observations are

    comingcloser to black holes.

    The pioneering work of

    Reinhard Genzel

    andAndrea Ghez has led the way

    for new generations of

    precise tests of the

    general theory ofrelativity and

    its most bizarre predictions.

    Most likely, Nobel Prize,

    these measurements will

    alsobe able to provide

    clues for new theoretical insights.

    The universe has many secrets

    and surprises

    left to be discovered.

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