Why didn’t Einstein win the ‘Nobel’ for his theory of Relativity once it was validated?

Question by trevathantim: Why didn’t Einstein win the ‘Nobel’ for his theory of Relativity once it was validated?
Einstein: The Real Story of the Man Behind the Theory syas that although not a ‘vague’ or genral theory, but a very specific, calculation oriented ‘pass/fail’ equation about the position of the stars, the theory was discounted by two teams of photographers, and validated by one other earlier American team. did the ‘controversy’ leave the question ‘un-answered’ or where they concerned about bias affecting the outcome from the American Astronomer Caldwell?

Albert Einstein
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Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein, 1921
BornMarch 14, 1879
Ulm, Kingdom of Württemberg, German Empire
DiedApril 18, 1955 (aged 76)
Princeton, New Jersey, USA
ResidenceGermany, Italy, Switzerland, USA
CitizenshipWürttemberg/Germany (1879–96)
Stateless (1896-1901)
Switzerland (1901–55)
Austria (1911–12)
Germany (1914–33)
United States (1940–55)[1]
EthnicityAshkenazi Jewish and German
FieldsPhysics
InstitutionsSwiss Patent Office (Bern)
University of Zurich
Charles University in Prague
ETH Zurich
Prussian Academy of Sciences
Kaiser Wilhelm Institute
University of Leiden
Institute for Advanced Study
Alma materETH Zurich
University of Zurich
Doctoral advisorAlfred Kleiner
Other academic advisorsHeinrich Friedrich Weber
Notable studentsErnst G. Straus
Nathan Rosen
Known forGeneral relativity
Special relativity
Photoelectric effect
Brownian motion
Mass-energy equivalence
Einstein field equations
Unified Field Theory
Bose–Einstein statistics
Notable awardsNobel Prize in Physics (1921)
Copley Medal (1925)
Max Planck Medal (1929)
Person of the Century
Religious stanceSee Main article
Signature

Albert Einstein (pronounced /ˈælbərt ˈaɪnstaɪn/; German: [ˈalbɐt ˈaɪ̯nʃtaɪ̯n] ( listen); 14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a theoretical physicist. He is best known for his theories of special relativity and general relativity. Einstein received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.”[2].
Einstein’s many contributions to physics include:
The special theory of relativity, which reconciled mechanics with electromagnetism
The general theory of relativity, a new theory of gravitation obeying the equivalence principle
The founding of relativistic cosmology with a cosmological constant
The first post-Newtonian expansion, explaining the perihelion advance of Mercury
Prediction of the deflection of light by gravity and gravitational lensing
The first fluctuation dissipation theorem which explained the Brownian movement of molecules
The theory of density fluctuations in gasses and liquids, giving a criterion for critical opalescence
The photon theory and wave-particle duality derived from the thermodynamic properties of light
The quantum theory of atomic motion in solids
Zero-point energy concept
The semiclassical version of the Schrödinger equation
Relations for atomic transition probabilities which predicted stimulated emission
The quantum theory of a monatomic gas which predicted Bose-Einstein condensation
The EPR paradox
A program for a unified field theory
The geometrization of fundamental physics
Einstein published more than 300 scientific works and more than 150 non-scientific works.[3][4] He is often regarded as the father of Modern Physics and the greatest scientist of the 20th Century. In 1999 Time magazine named him the Person of the Century, beating contenders like Mahatma Gandhi and Franklin Roosevelt, and in the words of a biographer, “to the scientifically literate and the public at large, Einstein is synonymous with genius.”[5]
Contents [hide]
1 Early life and education
1.1 Marriages and children
2 Patent office
3 Scientific career
3.1 Physics in 1900
3.2 Thermodynamic fluctuations and statistical physics
3.3 Thought experiments and a-priori physical principles
3.4 Special relativity
3.5 Photons
3.6 Quantized atomic vibrations
3.7 Adiabatic principle and action-angle variables
3.8 Wave–particle duality
3.9 Theory of Critical Opalescence
3.10 Zero-point energy
3.11 Principle of equivalence
3.12 Hole argument and Entwurf theory
3.13 General relativity
3.14 Cosmology
3.15 Modern quantum theory
3.16 Bose–Einstein statistics
3.17 Energy momentum pseudotensor
3.18 Unified field theory
3.19 Wormholes
3.20 Einstein–Cartan theory
3.21 Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen paradox
3.22 Equations of motion
3.23 Einstein’s mistakes
4 Collaboration with other scientists
4.1 Einstein-de Haas experiment
4.2 Schrödinger gas model
4.3 Einstein refrigerator
5 Bohr versus Einstein
6 Religious views
7 Politics
8 Death
9 Legacy
10 Effect on popular culture
11 Awards
12 Honors
13 See also
14 Publications
15 Notes
16 Further reading
17 External links

Best answer:

Answer by NB
Einstein’s theory of general relativity was confirmed in 1919 by Arthur Eddington (a Brit, not an American, btw) during a solar eclipse.

AFAIK there was only one other observation done at the time, which was inconclusive. As a matter of fact Eddington’s observation made headlines all over the world at the time, so General relativity considered pretty solid at the time.

So why did they give the Nobel to Einstein in 1921 for the photoelectric effect, a much less revolutionary discovery ? 2 reasons
1) The Nobel committee has always been cautious about novelties. This was still cutting-edge science at the time and probably nobody on the committee felt they understood it enough to be 100% for it. If the theory turned out to be wrong it would of course have been a major embarrassment.
2) Alfred Nobel’s will stipulates that the prizes should be given to discoveries who confer “greatest benefit on mankind”. This has led the committee to favor “practical” discoveries over purely abstract ones, and in that respect the photoelectric effect is a better choice.

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