Person: Kerr (2), Roy
Roy Kerr is a New Zealand mathematician who found a solution to Einstein's field equations which describes a rotating black hole.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- He attended St Andrew's College, Christchurch, an independent boarding school which, when Roy attended, was for boys only.
- alarm and dismay over Roy's pugilism, on the ground that he didn't want the best brain he'd encountered in a student scrambled by a well-thrown punch; but history seems to confirm that Roy came to no lasting harm over it.
- Kerr graduated from Canterbury College with an MS Mathematics degree in 1954, then went to the University of Cambridge in England, matriculating at Trinity College in September 1955.
- In 1958 Kerr became a postdoctoral fellow in Gravitation and Relativistic Theories at Syracuse University in New York State in the United States.
- It was in 1963, while at the University of Texas, that Kerr made the discovery for which he is best known today.
- These "Kerr" black holes rotate at a constant rate, their size and shape depending only on their mass and rate of rotation.
- it was conjectured that any rotating body that collapsed to form a black hole would eventually settle down to a stationary state described by the Kerr solution.
- Finally, in 1973, David Robinson at Kings College, London, used Carter's and my results to show that the conjecture had been correct: such a black hole had indeed to be the Kerr solution.
- So, as Kerr got up to speak, many slipped out ...
- As Kerr finished, Papapetrou demanded the floor, stood up and with deep feeling explained the importance of Kerr's feat.
- Kerr remained at the University of Texas until 1971 when he returned to New Zealand to a chair at the University of Canterbury.
- Among the many awards that Kerr has received for his remarkable contributions we mention first the Hughes Medal presented by the Royal Society of London on 30 November 1984 by the President Sir Andrew Huxley.
- In the early 1960s Professor Kerr discovered a specific solution to Einstein's field equations which describes a structure now termed a Kerr black hole.
- Not only was the solution especially complex, lacking symmetry of previous solutions, but it became apparent that any stationary black hole can be described by Kerr's solution.
- Professor Kerr has made other significant contributions to general relativity theory, but the discovery of the Kerr black hole was so remarkable as to compare with the discovery in physics of a new elementary particle.
- The Royal Society of New Zealand awarded Kerr their Hector Medal in 1982.
- for his contribution to relativity through the Kerr metric.
- The Kerr Fest, a Symposium on Black Holes in Astrophysics, General Relativity and Quantum Gravity, was held 26 - 28, August 2004 at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, to mark Roy Kerr's 70th birthday.
- At the meeting it was announced that Kerr would receive the Marcel Grossman Award.
- Roy Kerr was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2019.
Born 16 May 1934, Kurow, New Zealand.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Origin New Zealand
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive