Einstein's awards and honors

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Israeli postage stamp (1956).
U.S. postage stamp (1966).

In 1922, Albert Einstein was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics,[1] "for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect". This refers to his 1905 paper on the photoelectric effect, "On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light", which was well supported by the experimental evidence by that time. The presentation speech began by mentioning "his theory of relativity [which had] been the subject of lively debate in philosophical circles [and] also has astrophysical implications which are being rigorously examined at the present time". (Einstein 1923)


It was long reported that, in accord with the divorce settlement,[2] the Nobel Prize money had been deposited in a Swiss bank account for his wife Maric to draw on the interest for herself and their two sons, while she could only use the capital by agreement with Einstein. However, personal correspondence made public in 2006[3] shows that he invested much of it in the United States, and saw much of it wiped out in the Great Depression. However, ultimately he paid Maric more money than he received with the prize.[4]

In 1925 the Royal Society awarded Einstein the Copley Medal.[5]

In 1929, Max Planck presented Einstein with the Max Planck medal of the German Physical Society in Berlin, for extraordinary achievements in theoretical physics.[6]

In 1931, he received the Prix Jules Janssen, the highest award of the Société astronomique de France, the French astronomical society.

In 1934 Einstein gave the Josiah Willard Gibbs lecture.[7][8]

In 1936, Einstein was awarded the Franklin Institute's Franklin Medal for his extensive work on relativity and the photo-electric effect.[6]

The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics named 2005 the "World Year of Physics" in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the publication of the annus mirabilis papers.[9]

The Albert Einstein College of Medicine is a research-intensive medical school located in the Morris Park neighborhood of the Bronx in New York City.

The Albert Einstein Science Park is located on the hill Telegrafenberg in Potsdam, Germany. The best known building in the park is the Einstein Tower which has a bronze bust of Einstein at the entrance. The Tower is an astrophysical observatory that was built to perform checks of Einstein's theory of General Relativity.[10]

The Albert Einstein Memorial in central Washington, D.C. is a monumental bronze statue depicting Einstein seated with manuscript papers in hand. The statue, commissioned in 1979, is located in a grove of trees at the southwest corner of the grounds of the National Academy of Sciences on Constitution Avenue.

The chemical element 99, einsteinium, was named for him in August 1955, four months after Einstein's death.[11][12] 2001 Einstein is an inner main belt asteroid discovered on 5 March 1973.[13]

In 1999 Time magazine named him the Person of the Century,[14][15] ahead of Mahatma Gandhi and Franklin Roosevelt, among others. In the words of a biographer, "to the scientifically literate and the public at large, Einstein is synonymous with genius".[16] Also in 1999, an opinion poll of 100 leading physicists ranked Einstein the "greatest physicist ever".[17] A Gallup poll recorded him as the fourth most admired person of the 20th century in the U.S.[18]

In 1990, his name was added to the Walhalla temple for "laudable and distinguished Germans",[19] which is located in Donaustauf in Bavaria.[20]

The United States Postal Service honored Einstein with a Prominent Americans series (1965–1978) 8¢ postage stamp.

In 2008, Einstein was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.[21]

Awards named after Einstein[edit]

The Albert Einstein Award (sometimes called the Albert Einstein Medal because it is accompanied with a gold medal) is an award in theoretical physics, 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 included a prize money of $15,000,[22][23] which was later reduced to $5,000.[24][25] The winner is selected by a committee (the first of which consisted of Einstein, Oppenheimer, von Neumann and Weyl[26]) of the Institute for Advanced Study, which administers the award.[23]

The Albert Einstein Medal is an award presented by the Albert Einstein Society in Bern, Switzerland. First given in 1979, the award is presented to people who have "rendered outstanding services" in connection with Einstein.[27]

The Albert Einstein Peace Prize is given yearly by the Chicago, Illinois-based Albert Einstein Peace Prize Foundation. Winners of the prize receive $50,000.[28]


  1. ^ Albert Einstein – Frequently Asked Questions, Nobelprize.org, 18 April 1955, retrieved 7 January 2009 
  2. ^ Einstein Collected Papers, Vol. 8, doc. 562
  3. ^ "Letters Reveal Einstein Love Life". BBC News. 11 July 2006. Retrieved 25 November 2008. 
  4. ^ MSNBC Report 10 July 2006
  5. ^ Whittaker, E. (1 November 1955). "Albert Einstein. 1879-1955". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 1: 37–67. JSTOR 769242. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1955.0005. 
  6. ^ a b Marco Mamone Capria (2005) Physics before and after Einstein p.5. IOS Press, 2005
  7. ^ Josiah Willard Gibbs Lectures
  8. ^ "An elementary proof of the theorem concerning the equivalence of mass and energy". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 41 (4): 223–230. 1935. MR 1563062. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1935-06046-x. 
  9. ^ World Year of Physics 2005, retrieved 3 October 2007 
  10. ^ Brunhouse, Jay (2008) Maverick Guide to Berlin Pelican Publishing Company
  11. ^ Einsteinium and Fermium, retrieved 6 June 2009 
  12. ^ History of the International Atomic Energy Agency – The First Forty Years (PDF), International Atomic Energy Agency, p. 30, ISBN 92-0-102397-9, retrieved 6 June 2009 
  13. ^ Spratt, Christopher E. (April 1990), "The Hungaria group of minor planets", Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, 84 (2): 123–131, Bibcode:1990JRASC..84..123S 
  14. ^ Golden, Frederic (3 January 2000), "Person of the Century: Albert Einstein", Time, retrieved 25 February 2006 
  15. ^ Isaacson, Walter (3 January 2000), "Person of the Century: Why We Chose Einstein", Time, retrieved 16 July 2007 
  16. ^ Howard, Don, and Stachel, John J. Einstein: The Formative Years, 1879–1909, p. 159, Springer (2000)
  17. ^ "Einstein the greatest". BBC News. 29 November 1999. 
  18. ^ Mother Teresa Voted by American People as Most Admired Person of the Century, 31 December 1999, retrieved 13 August 2008 
  19. ^ Walhalla, official guide booklet. p. 3. Translated by Helen Stellner and David Hiley, Bernhard Bosse Verlag Regensburg, 2002
  20. ^ Walhalla Ruhmes- und Ehrenhalle (in German), archived from the original on 2 October 2007, retrieved 3 October 2007 
  21. ^ Carly Rothman (May 5, 2008). "Bruce leads first group of inductees into New Jersey Hall of Fame". The Newark Star Ledger. Retrieved 10 December 2015. 
  22. ^ Biography of J. Schwinger from University of St Andrews, MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive (Last accessed 17 December 2006).
  23. ^ a b The Month at Caltech, April 1954 issue, p. 20 (Last accessed on 4 September 2007).
  24. ^ The Americana Annual 1962: An Encyclopedia of the not Events of 1961, Americana Corporation, 1962, ISSN 0196-0180 
  25. ^ Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1967, Scientific and Technical Information Branch, NASA, 1968, ISSN 0519-2366 
  26. ^ Sigmund, Dawson, Muhlberger (2006), Kurt Godel: The Album, Wiesbaden: Vieweg, ISBN 3-8348-0173-9 
  27. ^ Albert Einstein Society in Bern retrieved 17 July 2010
  28. ^ Pugwash Online, retrieved 20 December 2009 

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