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Blue Dot 206: NOBEL PRIZE IN PHYSICS 2020: Black Holes

Dave takes a deep dive into the science of black holes, which were the basis of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics which went to Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez. Denver Museum of Nature and Science Curator of Space Science joins us to talk about the Nobel Prize and the basic physics behind our understanding of black holes, which are the ultimate warping of space-time.

The Nobel went one half to Penrose for his pioneering work on black holes based on Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. The other half was split between Genzel from the Max Planck Institute in Germany and Ghez from UCLA for their work on Sagittarius A, the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy.


Then Dave visits with Emily Levesque, astronomer and author of The Last Stargazers: The Enduring Story of Astronomy's Vanishing Explorers about the how and why it is so rare for a woman to win a Nobel Prize in Physics, despite the fact that the history of astrophysics is replete with examples of seminal contributions from women like Vera Rubin who discovered the existence of Dark Matter.


Dave Schlom is the longtime host and creator of Blue Dot. From surfing to Voyager in interstellar space, rock guitar to orcas in our imperiled oceans, the topics on Blue Dot are as varied as the host’s interests and connections -- which are pretty limitless! An internationally respected space history journalist, Dave is also deeply fascinated by all aspects of the grand workings of nature’s awesome machinery on scales ranging from galactic to subatomic. And topics take in all aspects of the arts and sciences.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.