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10. Nobel prize

  • The page for the Physics prize (from includes links to the press release, a popular presentation and a more advanced presentation.

Einstein's Nobel prize

Albert Einstein, was awarded the 1921 physics prize, "for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect". However, the prize was not awarded until 1922, when he was in Japan. Instead he gave is Nobel prize lecture at LISEBERG, on 11 July 1923, as part of a Nordic science conference - and his presentation was about the theories of relativity.

Einstein is said to have been inspired by a worker falling from ladder who had described that it felt as he had no weight. Einstein described the insight that free fall is experienced as an absence of gravity as "The happiest thought of my life", connected to the equivalence between the gravitational mass (in mg) and the inertial mass (in ma). Just imagine if he had had the opportunity to experience free fall at Liseberg today, not only in the drop towers but also over roller coaster "air time hills".

In the book Einstein's Nobel Prize - A Glimpse Behind Closed Doors: The Archival Evidence (Archive of the Nobel Museum) Aant Elzinga presents the background to Einstein's Nobel prize.