Black holes, that is astronomical objects with such strong gravity that not even light can escape from them, are something that researchers have been contemplating since the time of Newton. When Einstein developed his general theory of relativity in 1915, it was discovered that black holes were a natural consequence of this theory. Black holes have continued to fascinate physicists the world over, and this year saw Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez receive the Nobel Prize in Physics for their discoveries linked to black holes.
According to Mattias Marklund, Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Gothenburg, the Nobel laureates’ discoveries have led to black holes going from being perceived as exotic, theoretical structures to becoming a very real part of modern astronomy and part of how we understand the dynamics of the Universe.
“The discoveries being recognised this year have changed how we view the world in terms of our understanding of what the Universe is made of, and have led to us having an even better understanding of how things like galaxies evolve over time.”