ALBERT Einstein’s ideas underpin some of the most important discoveries in science.

And it is thanks to the German-born physicist’s theory of general relativity that we have our current understanding of how gravity works.

But an Oxford University scientist has been trying to prove his theories right or wrong.

Dr Tessa Baker, 26, of All Souls College, won an award and £3,000 from the Government for her research into which theories dreamt up on paper are accurate in reality. She said: “The universe is expanding much faster than we thought it would. One possible reason for that is Einstein’s theories were not quite right.

“My job is to look at other ideas about gravity and watch the stars for signs of evidence that backs them up.

“Our aim is to discover if there is a part of the puzzle we have not discovered yet. Whether Einstein was right or wrong, it is still a hugely important thing to know.”

Getting the studies right will affect our future abilities to do even greater things in science, but it hinges on studying whirlpool galaxies, supernovas and other cosmic formations for clues.

Last month Dr Baker travelled to Westminster to explain why her work was important to a judging panel of MPs and experts, in just three minutes.

She went up against 29 other shortlisted entrants and was crowned the winner.

Afterwards Dr Baker said: “If Einstein was wrong we have discovered a new theory of gravity.

“If he was right then we know we are still missing a huge section of our model of physics.”