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Roy Kerr

AKA Roy Patrick Kerr

Born: 16-May-1934
Birthplace: Kurow, New Zealand

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Mathematician

Nationality: New Zealand
Executive summary: Rotating black holes

Mathematician Roy Kerr calculated what is now called the Kerr metric, a solution to Albert Einstein's field equations of general relativity which helps explain the physics of rotating black holes. Until Kerr announced his calculations in 1963, most scientists had believed that black holes were a rather cockeyed notion and could not actually exist beyond Karl Schwarzschild's theoretical descriptions, and even Einstein had declared that black holes (then still called Schwarzschild singularities) "do not exist in physical reality”. Retired since1993, Kerr was also collegiate boxer, a champion bridge player, and a self-described "party animal".

    High School: St. Andrew's College Christchurch, New Zealand (1952)
    University: MS Mathematics, New Zealand University (1954)
    University: PhD Mathematics, Cambridge University (1960)
    Scholar: Gravitation and Relativistic Theories, Syracuse University (1960-62)
    Teacher: Mathematics, University of Texas at Austin (1962-71)
    Professor: Mathematics, University of Canterbury (1971-93)

    Hughes Medal 1984
    Royal Society of New Zealand
    Scottish Ancestry



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