ANKARA - Three scientists are sharing the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for their groundbreaking discoveries about the exotic objects known as black holes, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Tuesday.

One half of the monetary award is going to Roger Penrose of Oxford University for the “discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity,” the academy said in a press release.

“His groundbreaking [1965] article is still regarded as the most important contribution to the general theory of relativity since [Albert] Einstein,” the theory’s original author, it added.

The other half is being jointly awarded to Reinhard Genzel, the director of Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, and Andrea Ghez, an astronomer and physicist at the University of California, Los Angeles, for “the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy.” 

Ghez is the fourth woman to win a Physics Nobel. David Haviland, who chairs the Nobel Committee for Physics, said the discoveries of this year’s laureates broke new ground in the study of compact and supermassive objects.