What Were Albert Einstein's Major Accomplishments?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 4, 2020 7:42:16 AM ET

Albert Einstein's major contributions to science include the theory of relativity, the origins of quantum theory and the theory of critical opalescence. Some of his awards and honors include the Copley Medal, the Franklin Medal and the Nobel Prize in physics.


Einstein was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics for his general contributions to theoretical physics and specifically his contribution of the law of the photoelectric effect. The Franklin Institute's Franklin Medal was also awarded to him for this specific discovery.

Einstein won the Royal Society's Copley Medal in 1925 and the German Physical Society's Max Planck medal in 1929 for his general contributions to theoretical physics. He also received a number of posthumous honors, such as a memorial statue in Washington, D.C., a chemical element named for him (einsteinium) and commemorative postage stamps issued by a number of countries. He was named "Person of the Century" by Time magazine in 1999. Three awards have also been given his name: the Institute for Advanced Study's Albert Einstein Award, the Albert Einstein Society's Albert Einstein Medal and the annual award given out by the Albert Einstein Peace Prize Foundation.

Some of Einstein's personal accomplishments were graduation from the Federal Polytechnical School in Zurich and his appointment as the director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin.