Dr. Andrea M. Ghez, professor in the Department of
Physics & Astronomy, is one of the world's leading
observational astrophysicists, whose work sheds light on how
our Milky Way galaxy, our Sun, and our Earth came to
Working in the filed of high precision infrared imaging and
spectroscopy, Professor Ghez's research focuses on the
origin and early life of stars and planets, and the
distribution and nature of the matter at the center of our
galaxy. She has demonstrated the existence of a supermassive
black hole at the center of our galaxy, with a mass more
than four million times that of our sun.
Her work challenges us to ask: if a black hole of this
enormous mass resides at the center of our own, relatively
inactive galaxy, how did it grow to its current size, and
what can we learn by analogy about the formation and
evolution of galaxies and their central black holes?
In Discover magazine's 20th anniversary issue,
Professor Ghez was named one of the top 20 scientists in the
country under 40, who have "demonstrated once-in-a-generation
insight" and "will likely change our fundamental understanding
of the world and our place in it."