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School of Physics and Astronomy

Congratulations to Sir Roger Penrose for winning the Nobel Prize!

Congratulations to Sir Roger Penrose for winning the Nobel Prize!

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The School of Physics and Astronomy is proud to congratulate Sir Roger Penrose, who held a visiting Professorship at the Centre for Research in String Theory. The Nobel prize is awarded for foundational work in general relativity on the formation of black holes. Black holes were such a peculiar concept that even Einstein did not believe in their existence. Penrose's work showed, however, that they were the inevitable end point of gravitational collapse in very wide variety of circumstances. Their existence has now been experimentally confirmed by numerous observations across our universe. Physics and Astronomy at QMUL continues this tradition of studying black hole physics with a focus on the quantum properties of black holes- which remains one of the central problems in understanding the fundamentals of spacetime and gravity.

Another notable invention of Penrose, twistor theory, is a radical reformulation of space-time which took almost 30 years to enter the mainstream of physics research. Since 2004, Penrose's twistors have led to a major advance in understanding the scattering of fundamental particles and triggered a radical reformulation of the traditional textbook methods. The QMUL group continues its central contribution to these developments that Penrose's twistor theory began over 50 years ago.