The Nobel Prize in Physics 2020
Born: 24 March 1952, Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Germany
Affiliation at the time of the award: Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, Germany; University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
Prize motivation: “for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy”
Prize share: 1/4
A black hole is a supermassive compact object with a gravitational force so large that nothing, not even light, can escape from it. Since nothing, not even light, can escape black holes, they can only be observed by the radiation and the movement of nearby objects. Since the 1990s, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez with their respective research teams, have developed and refined techniques for studying the movement of stars. Observations of stars in the area around Sagittarius A* in the middle of our galaxy, the Milky Way, revealed a super massive black hole.