Hanson, secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, said at a ceremony Tuesday in Stockholm that this year’s prize was about “the darkest mysteries of the universe”.
Penrose was awarded the prize “for discovering that black hole formation is a strong prediction of general relativity.” Genzel and Ghez are honored for “discovering a compact, supermassive object at the center of our galaxy”.
Guise, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, is only the fourth woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physics. It was awarded to a woman for the first time in 55 years in 2018.
“I think today I am more enthusiastic about the educational side of my job than ever before,” she said after the announcement. “Because it is very important to convince the younger generation that their ability to question, and their ability to think, is only necessary for the future of the world.”
“I feel very happy to receive the award and I take seriously the responsibility associated with being the fourth woman to win a Nobel Prize. I hope to inspire other young women in this field,” said Ghez.
Marie Curie, the only woman to have been honored twice by the Nobel Committee, won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1911.
Penrose, a professor at Oxford University, worked with fellow physicist Stephen Hawking to merge Einstein’s theory of relativity with quantum theory to suggest that space and time would begin with the Big Bang and end with black holes.
Genzel is director of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany, and a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry will be announced on Wednesday, followed by the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday, the Nobel Prize for Peace on Friday and the Prize in Economic Sciences next Monday.
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