Subtle Is the Lord: The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein

By Abraham Pais | Go to book overview

30
How Einstein got the Nobel Prize

The procedure of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for awarding the Nobel prize in physics is in outline as follows. Invitations to nominate are sent out by a five-member Nobel Committee (hereinafter called the Committee) elected from the membership. This Committee studies the proposals and supporting material, draws up a protocol of its deliberations, and decides by majority vote on a recommendation to the Academy. The recommendation is then transmitted in the form of a report (hereinafter called the Report) that summarizes the merits of the proposals handed to the Committee and gives the reasons for its decision. The recommendation is voted on first by the Academy Klass (section) of physics. Then follows the decisive vote by the Academy in pleno (not just the physicists). These votes need not agree with the Committee's recommendation. For example, in 1908 the Committee unanimously proposed Planck. The Klass vote was also in support of Planck. But the Academy chose Lippmann.

The case of Planck sheds additional light on the controversial nature of the quantum theory in its early days. 'This suggestion [Planck] got a rough treatment in the Academy. . . . After the defeat in 1908, the Committee had gotten "cold feet" as far as Planck was concerned. Also, of course, the importance but also the contradictions of quantum theory came more into focus from around 1910 on, [and] so the award to Planck was postponed in the hope that the difficulties of the quantum theory could be sorted out' [N1].

It was my privilege to be given access to Committee Reports and letters of proposal bearing on Einstein's Nobel prize. Once more, I thank all those in authority for entrusting me with this material, especially Professor Bengt Nagel, who was kind enough to answer additional questions.

The Academy's decisions have nearly always been well received by the community of physicists. To be sure, eyebrows (including my own) are raised on occasion. That, however, is not only inevitable but also irrelevant to the account about to be given. My sole focus will be upon matters of great historical interest: the scientific judgments of leading physicists who made the proposals and the judg

-502-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Subtle Is the Lord: The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 560

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.