Says Prof. Amiel Sternberg from the School of Physics and Astronomy at Tel Aviv University who is also a member of Prof. Ganzel's group in Munich. He emphasizes that the third winner, Roger Penrose, is the one who laid the theoretical foundation for the existence of black holes
"Without the observations of Nobel laureates Reinhart Ganzel and Andrea Gass, the whole subject of black holes would have remained theoretical." Says Prof. Amiel Sternberg from the School of Physics and Astronomy at Tel Aviv University. Prof. Sternberg is also a member of the Flatiron Institute in New York, as well as the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Munich, which is directed by the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, Reinhart Denzel.
He emphasizes that the third winner, Roger Penrose, is the one who laid the theoretical foundation for the existence of black holes.
In an interview with the Hidan site, Prof. Sternbag explains: "I have been collaborating with Prof. Reinhart's group for many, many years, in fact I have known the group since its inception. Our group in Munich is unique in that they develop new technology and instruments for very specific scientific purposes. This is very different from the routine way in which we operate in our field where there are observatories, and in each of them different types of equipment are installed. The researcher accesses the device and uses it. Our group in Munich builds state-of-the-art equipment for long-term strategic goals. One of them is the verification of the idea that there is a very massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way."
"This is a project that has lasted for decades, since the beginning of the nineties. Little by little, with a lot of work and effort, movements of stars around the central black hole were discovered. At the same time, a large group in the USA led by Andrea Gaz (with whom Ganzel shared half of the prize) also did this. I know her too, I even gave her the Sackler Prize when she was young, for these works in the beginning stages."
"The subject of black holes, which is at the center of the Nobel Prize for Physics, is also important in theoretical physics in general, regardless of astronomy as well as in astronomy. Roger Penrose came to this field from a theoretical mathematical point of view. The ideas about the existence of black holes preceded Penrose but they were very theoretical and based on abstract assumptions such as a pure spherical structure. Penrose was able to show that real stars and even a collection of stars can collapse into the state of a black hole, where once you enter the inner region you will no longer come out."
The idea of black holes at the centers of galaxies has evolved slowly
"The idea of black holes at the centers of galaxies has evolved slowly. In the sixties, objects were discovered that were later called quasars, and today we understand that these are the centers of galaxies that emit a lot of energy, much more than can be described from a single star or even from billions of stars. Already in the XNUMXs, theorists explained that this is energy emitted by matter falling into a deep pit. When the material enters the hole it cannot leave it but on the way down, before it is finally swallowed, this fall causes the emission of this light that we see as a quasar. Penrose's contribution was that he connected Einstein's theory of relativity with the discovery of quasars. The observational work of Ganzel in Germany and Gas in California, such a massive black hole does exist in the center of our Milky Way which is a typical galaxy. Today there is evidence, although weaker than the evidence of Ganzel and Gas in galaxies far away from us that also have black holes. This has become a pretty standard image. Because the center of our Milky Way is relatively close, only a few tens of thousands of light years, it is still close enough to allow these measurements to be made."
"Today we think that every galaxy has a black hole, but without these measurements of Ganzel and gas for our Milky Way this idea would have been much less convincing without these measurements many physicists would have said: 'Well you tell all kinds of stories about black holes in the centers of galaxies, a nice idea but no proven.
Prof. Sternberg emphasizes that these measurements began already thirty years ago. "In many cases, the Nobel Prize is given for breakthroughs made quite a few years ago. The fact that the idea of black holes in the centers of galaxies seems obvious to you is because of the work of Ganzel and Gas, even if you were not aware of them. It is impossible to know what are the considerations of the members of the prize committee who sometimes give an immediate prize" (for example on the gravitational waves and even on the Higgs boson which were given immediately after the experimental discovery that was proved by A.B.).
In response to the question of the science website what is the role of the late Stephen Hawking, Prof. Sternberg said that Penrose and Hawking can actually be defined as a duo on the theoretical side of black holes. But as you know, the Nobel Prize is given to the winners while they are alive.
Prof. Ganzel has extensive connections in the scientific community in Israel and he published and continues to publish joint articles with Prof. Hagi Netzer from Tel Aviv University, Prof. Ram Seri and Prof. Avishi Dekel from the Hebrew University as well as with the late Prof. Tal Alexander who worked at the Weizmann Institute. More articles to follow, including an interview with Prof. Hagi Netzer.
More of the topic in Hayadan:
- Roger Penrose and the two black hole detectors at the center of the galaxy won the Nobel Prize in Physics
- Prof. Stephen Hawking died in his sleep * He studied black holes and was a social activist
- At least ten thousand Milky Way black holes surround the central black hole
- An explanation of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way as a laboratory for black hole research, including the part of Nobel laureates