Get To Know Andrea Mia Ghez; Winner Of Nobel Prize In Physics

Andrea Mia Ghez

On October 6,2020 Andrea Mia Ghez was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in physics. Andrea is an American astronomer and professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UCLA. She is part of a team that did pioneering work related to “the discovery of a supermassive compact object (black hole) at the centre of our galaxy, Milky Way.” Winning this award, she became the fourth woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. She is also fellow of the American Physical Society and was elected as a legacy Fellow of the American Astronomical Society.

Ghez was identified as a Science Hero by “The My Hero Project”( NGO based in US). In 2004, Discover magazine listed her as one of the top 20 scientists in the United States who have shown a high degree of understanding and are excelling in their respective fields.

Along with Ghez, Roger Penrose, a mathematician and physicist, and Reinhard Genzel, co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics have been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize for physics. The Royal Swedish Academy of Science has awarded one half of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics to Roger Penrose and the other half has been awarded jointly to Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez.

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Andrea Mia Ghez’s Discovery and Career

She led a team of astronomers that focused on a region called Sagittarius A* at the centre of our galaxy-Milky Way. She used the world’s largest telescopes and developed methods to see through the huge clouds of interstellar gas and dust to the centre of the Milky Way. David Haviland, chair of the Nobel Committee for Physics, praised her discoveries and said that her discoveries have “broken new ground in the study of compact and supermassive objects.” He further explained,” these exotic objects still pose many questions that beg for answers and motivate future research. Not only questions about their inner structure, but also questions about how to test our theory of gravity under the extreme conditions in the immediate vicinity of a black hole.”

List of some of the awards Ghez has received :- 

  • Newton Lacy Pierce Prize in Astronomy of the American Astronomical Society in 1998
  • Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award of the American Physical Society in 1999
  • Gold Shield Faculty Prize for Academic Excellence in 2004
  • Crafoord Prize in Astronomy in 2012
  • Royal Society Bakerian Medal in 2015

Ghez’s Personal Life

Andrea Mia Ghez is married to Tom LaTourrette who is a geologist and research scientist at the RAND corporation. They have two sons. She is also an active swimmer in the Masters Swim Club.

Khushi Gupta is an intern with SheThePeople.TV