- NAME: Max Born
- OCCUPATION: Educator, Physicist
- BIRTH DATE: December 11, 1882
- DEATH DATE: January 05, 1970
- Did You Know?: Personally and professionally, Max Born had a long-running argument with Albert Einstein on whether or not "God" plays dice.
- Did You Know?: Max Born is the maternal grandfather of actress/singer Olivia Newton-John.
- EDUCATION: University of Wroclaw, University of Heidelberg, University of Zurich, University of Göttingen
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Breslau (now Wroc?aw, Poland), Germany
- PLACE OF DEATH: Göttingen, Germany
Best Known For
German-born physicist Max Born, noted for his mathematical analysis of how subatomic particles behave, shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1954.
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Max Born was born in Breslau, Germany, on December 11, 1882, into a family of upper-class Jewish academics. He pursued his interest in science and mathematics at leading universities in Germany, England and Scotland, coming up with proofs and theories in relation to the First Law of Thermodynamics and quantum mechanics. He was forced to serve in the German army in World War I and was expelled from Germany in 1933. After WWII,
"We have sought for firm ground and found none. The deeper we penetrate, the more restless becomes the universe; all is rushing about and vibrating in a wild dance."
"The belief that there is only one truth and that oneself is in possession of it seems to me the root of all the evil that is in the world."
"But in practical affairs, particularly in politics, men are needed who combine human experience and interest in human relations with a knowledge of science and technology."
he was opposed to nuclear weapons and espoused his belief in an indeterminate universe. Born shared the Nobel Prize for Physics with Walter Bothe in 1954. He died on January 5, 1970, in Göttingen, Germany.
Max Born was born on December 11, 1882, in Breslau, Germany (now Wroc?aw, Poland) to an upper-middle-class family of Jewish descent. His father, Gustav Born, was a professor of anatomy and embryology at the local university, and his mother, Margarete, who died when Max was just four years old, came from a family of local industrialists. He had a younger sister, Käthe, and a half-brother Wolfgang (from his father's second marriage), who later became a professor of art history at the City University of New York.
A frail child, Born eventually attended the renowned König-Wilhelm Gymnasium after home tutelage, moving on to and through several universities—the University of Breslau, Heidelberg University and Zurich University—spending only a year at each. He settled down to get his Ph.D. and Habilitation—the highest academic credit a scholar can achieve—at the University of Göttingen, where he wrote his dissertation on the stability of elastic wires and tapes, earning the Prize of the Philosophical Faculty.
Through his peripatetic education, Born had picked up an interest inmatrix calculus,higher analysis, astronomy and physics. He continued his studies under a Nobel Prize-winning physicist at Cambridge and returned to his hometown university to work on the theory of relativity, collaborating with and then taking over for a renowned professor there, which led to his first brush with Albert Einstein (who would become a friend).
In 1915 Born moved to Berlin to work with Max Planck at the university there but was drafted in the German army after the outbreak of World War I. During the war, he was able to continue his scientific pursuits, working on the theory of sound ranging and publishing his first book, Dynamics of Crystal Lattices. After the war, he resumed his work in a professorship in Frankfurt, where he worked in a lab with the future Nobel Prize winner Otto Stern on the latter's early molecular experiments.
During a period of extended stability, 12 years as professor of theoretical physics at Göttingen, Born did his most important work on quantum mechanics. James Franck was also there as professor of experimental physics, and together they made the university a hotspot for atomic and molecular phenomena, with soon-to-be-well-known physicists such as Werner Heisenberg, Enrico Fermi, J. Robert Oppenheimer and Maria Goeppert-Mayer all flocking to the institution.
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