Andrea Ghez Wins 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics

Posted on 10/6/20 in News

Andrea Ghez, UCLA’s Lauren B. Leichtman and Arthur E. Levine Professor of Astrophysics, was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics today. Half of the prize is to be shared with Reinhard Genzel of UC Berkeley and the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics. Ghez and Genzel were praised for “the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy.” The other half of the prize was awarded to Roger Penrose of the University of Oxford “for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity.”

Ghez has achieved many accomplishments throughout her career, including having been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, being the first woman to have recived the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ Crafoord Prize, and having been named a MacArthur Fellow in 2008. In addition to the above accolades, Dr. Ghez is now the fourth woman to receive the physics prize, following Marie Curie in 1903, Maria Goeppert Mayer in 1963, and Donna Strickland in 2018. “I hope I can inspire other young women into the field. It’s a field that has so many pleasures. And if you’re passionate about the science, there’s so much that can be done,” Ghez said. She was an organizer and speaker for IPAM’s 2004 workshop Estimation and Control Problems in Adaptive Optics where she presented the lecture , “Unveiling a Supermassive Black Hole at the Center of Our Galaxy.”

Congratulations to Andrea Ghez on this great achievement!

Nobel Prize Press Release

UCLA Newsroom