Several decades ago one of the most brilliant minds this world has given us left us. Albert Einstein is one of the best-known scientists in our recent history. We are not only talking about a privileged mind, but also about a figure admired and respected in all parts of the planet. The creator of the Theory of Relativity became one of the references in the field of research and every time someone mentions his name, you can’t help but have a broad respect for his work.
However, this has not always been the case. Or at least, it was not this feeling that won him the Nobel Prize. Even There is a debate about the reason that could lead the Nobel committee not to award him the award for his Theory of Relativity. Against all odds, or at least against everything that could be expected, the scientist won the Nobel Prize for the photoelectric effect, a project much less well known than the theory that gave him fame.
Einstein’s Theory of Relativity that never won a Nobel
In November 1919, several scientists certified that general relativity had been approved, thus allowing Einstein to become a benchmark in the world of science. The announcement by astrophysicist Arthur Eddington and Nobel laureate President of the Royal Society JJ Thomson broke this news. No one could believe that the greatest prize that could be awarded did not fall into his hands.
However, and despite the announcement of these scientists, a group of philosophers of science concluded years later that Einstein’s results could be contradictory. “It could only be argued that they confirmed Einstein’s theory if many of the measurements were ignored”, assured from this group. A blow that, of course, took the prize away from the hands of the creator of the Theory of Relativity.
These statements, how could it be otherwise, caused the field of science to launch itself against the scientists who supported Albert Einstein’s theory and accused them of painting the results. At that time, the debate became practically unsustainable. However, and in the midst of a battle to see who was right, two astronomers from the Cambridge Institute of Astronomy, rThey analyzed both studies, both the one that confirmed Einstein’s theory and the one that denied it. Ultimately, they concluded that Eddington and Thomson were right, and therefore so was Einstein’s theory. Everything pointed to Einstein was getting closer to the award but it was not for him.
It was not known why he was not the lucky one until 1974, when the Nobel Foundation opened the archives to find out the answer. Then it became known that Einstein was nominated 62 times in two years for the Nobel Prize. Okay, but why didn’t he win? Apparently back then the committee that decided who was awarded the prize was not very inclined to accept any kind of nomination that came from the field of theoretical physics.
International support, in any case, was widespread. However, Sweden feared that the Theory of Relativity could somehow alter traditional values. Experts who rejected his candidacy, reports against it and many debates that ultimately ended even leaving the 1921 Physics Nobel Prize empty in order not to award it to Einstein.
After a resignation in the committee, Carl Wilhelm Oseen happened to fill that vacancy, and promoted his candidacy. Of course, not because of the theory that everyone wanted, but because of the photoelectric effect. Thanks to him, theoretical physics was able to have a place in the Nobel Prizes and, how could it be otherwise, he did it hand in hand with Einstein.
We want to thank the writer of this article for this remarkable material
Albert Einstein and the reason that made the scientist win the Nobel but not for the Theory of Relativity