Albert Einstein Award

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Stephen Hawking, a recipient of the award in 1978.

The Albert Einstein Award (sometimes mistakenly called the Albert Einstein Medal because it was accompanied with a gold medal) was an award in theoretical physics, given periodically from 1951 to 1979, that was established to recognize high achievement in the natural sciences. It was endowed by the Lewis and Rosa Strauss Memorial Fund in honor of Albert Einstein's 70th birthday. It was first awarded in 1951 and, in addition to a gold medal of Einstein by sculptor Gilroy Roberts,[1] it also included a prize money of $15,000,[2][3] which was later reduced to $5,000.[4][5] The winner was selected by a committee (the first of which consisted of Einstein, Oppenheimer, von Neumann, and Weyl[6]) of the Institute for Advanced Study, which administered the award.[3] Lewis L. Strauss used to be one of the trustees of the institute.[7]

This award should not be confused with many others named after the famous physicist, such as the Albert Einstein World Award of Science given by the World Cultural Council (since 1984), the Albert Einstein Medal given by the Albert Einstein Society (since 1979), nor with the Hans Albert Einstein Award, named after his son and given by the American Society of Civil Engineers (since 1988).[8] It was established much earlier than these, while Einstein was still alive and was a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study. It has been called "the highest of its kind in the United States" by The New York Times.[9] Some considered it as "the prestigious equivalent of a Nobel Prize".[10]


Year Name Reference
1951 Kurt Gödel and Julian Schwinger [2][11]
1954 Richard Feynman [3]
1958 Edward Teller [12]
1959 Willard Libby [13]
1960 Leó Szilárd [14]
1961 Luis Alvarez [4]
1965 John Wheeler [15]
1967 Marshall Rosenbluth [5]
1970 Yuval Ne'eman [16]
1972 Eugene Wigner [17]
1978 Stephen Hawking [10]
1979 Tullio Regge [18]


  1. ^ Wheeler Honored, Princeton Alumni Weekly, Volume 65, June 8, 1965.
  2. ^ a b Biography of J. Schwinger from University of St Andrews, MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive (Last accessed Dec. 17, 2006).
  3. ^ a b c The Month at Caltech, April 1954 issue, p. 20 (Last accessed on September 4, 2007).
  4. ^ a b The Americana Annual 1962, An Encyclopedia of the Events of 1961. Americana Corporation. 1962. ISSN 0196-0180.
  5. ^ a b Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1967. Scientific and Technical Information Branch, NASA. 1968. ISSN 0519-2366.
  6. ^ Sigmund; Dawson; Muhlberger (2006). Kurt Godel: The Album. ISBN 3-8348-0173-9.
  7. ^ Report of the Director for 1948-53, Institute for Advanced Studies, p. 30 (1954). (pdf file last accessed on November 11, 2018).
  8. ^ Details about the Hans Albert Einstein Award, from the ASCE website (Last accessed on September 11, 2007).
  9. ^ New Scientist magazine, EBSCO Publishing, vol. 77, p. 272, 1978.
  10. ^ a b White, Gribbin (2002). Stephen Hawking: A Life in Science. ISBN 0-309-08410-5.
  11. ^ Biographical Memoirs V.56. National Academy Press. 1987. pp. 134–179. ISBN 0-309-03693-3.
  12. ^ Edward Teller—Awards & Degrees Archived 2006-10-06 at the Wayback Machine from LLNL website (Last accessed Feb. 11, 2007).
  13. ^ Biography of W. F. Libby at (Last accessed May 13, 2008).
  14. ^ Bernard T. Feld; Gertrud Weiss Szilard, eds. (1972). The Collected Works of Leo Szilard: Scientific Papers. MIT. p. 15. ISBN 0-262-06039-6.
  15. ^ McGraw-Hill Modern Scientists and Engineers. 1980. ISBN 0-07-045266-0. p. 302.
  16. ^ The World Book Year Book: An Annual Supplement to the World Book. 1971. ISBN 0-7166-0471-X. p. 217
  17. ^ Science magazine, vol. 176, p. 896, 1972.
  18. ^ David Calhoun, ed. (1980). Yearbook of Science and the Future. Encyclopædia Britannica (UK) Ltd. ISBN 0-85229-375-5.

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