Three scientists shared the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discoveries about the black hole, one of the most exotic phenomena in the universe, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm announced on Tuesday.
The prize has been awarded with one half to Roger Penrose and the other half jointly to Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez.
"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 center of our galaxy. A supermassive black hole is the only currently known explanation," said a press release from the academy.
Ghez said in the on-site telephone interview that she was very "thrilled" to receive the prize as a female laureate and that she took seriously the responsibility associated with the prize.
She emphasized that "science is critical to human beings" and "I feel passionate to teach younger generations the ability to question and think, which is crucial to the world."
Ghez noted that it was first "doubt and excitement, a combination of things" that drove her in her researches.
"We still do not know what's in the black hole. It's part of the intrigue, which still pushes our understanding to the new world," she said.
According to the Nobel Foundation, this year's prize is 10 million Swedish krona (about 1.12 million U.S. dollars), which will be equally shared among the three laureates.
Penrose, born in 1931, is a professor at University of Oxford.
Genzel, born in 1952, is the director at Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, Germany and a professor at University of California, Berkeley, the United States.
Ghez, born in 1965, is a professor at University of California, Los Angeles, the United States.