Albert Einstein Memorial in Washington DC

Memorial to a Scientific Genius and Nobel Prize Winner

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••• Albert Einstein Memorial. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

The memorial to Albert Einstein is set at the entrance to the headquarters for the National Academy of Sciences, a private, non-profit society of distinguished scholars, in Washington DC. The memorial is easy to get up close to and offers a great photo op (kids can even sit in his lap).  It was built in 1979 in honor of the centennial of Einstein's birth. The 12 foot bronze figure is depicted seated on a granite bench holding a paper with mathematical equations summarizing three of his most important scientific contributions: the photoelectric effect, the theory of general relativity, and the equivalence of energy and matter.

Location: National Academy of Sciences, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington DC. The closest Metro station is Foggy Bottom-GWU. The memorial is located just north of West Potomac Park. See a map.

The Einstein Memorial was created by sculptor Robert Berks and was based on a bust of Einstein the artist sculpted from life in 1953. Landscape architect James A. Van Sweden designed the monument landscaping. The granite bench that Einstein is seated on is engraved with three of his most famous quotations:

As long as I have any choice in the matter, I shall live only in a country where civil liberty, tolerance, and equality of all citizens before the law prevail.

Joy and amazement of the beauty and grandeur of this world of which man can just form a faint notion.

The right to search for truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.

About Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein (1879 –1955) was a German-born physicist and philosopher of science, best known for developing the theory of relativity.

He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics. He also investigated the thermal properties of light which laid the foundation of the photon theory of light. He settled in the U.S. becoming an American citizen in 1940. Einstein published more than 300 scientific papers along with over 150 non-scientific works.

To learn more, read a Biography of Albert Einstein.  

About the National Academy of Sciences

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was established by an Act of Congress in 1863 and provides independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. Outstanding scientists are elected by their peers for membership. Nearly 500 members of the NAS have won Nobel Prizes. The building in Washington DC was dedicated in 194 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information, visit www.nationalacademies.org.

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