A black hole expert from small town Otago regarded as one of the world’s most accomplished mathematicians has won a million dollar science prize.
Professor Roy Kerr of the University of Canterbury has been awarded the prestigious Crafoord Prize for his ‘fundamental work on rotating black holes and their astrophysical consequences’.
The award is designed to be a close equivalent to the Nobel Prize – which does not have a category for astronomy.
Nasa scientists catch black hole swallowing star – and burping a bit back out.Its prize of more than NZ$1 million is among the largest in the scientific world.
Kerr will share the prize with UK astronomer Roger Blandford and Russian mathematician Yakov Eliashberg.
Originally from Kurow the tiny North Otago town which also produced Richie McCaw Kerr is a pivotal figure in black hole research.
In 1963 the then 29-year-old discovered the Kerr Metric a solution to Albert Einstein’s gravitational field equations which had been unsolved for nearly 50 years.
His solution effectively predicted spinning black holes before they had ever been observed.