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Max Born

Max Born was a physicist born in Germany in 1882. Though as a young man he was too ill to attend school, eventually he studied at some of the most illustrious universities in Europe. Ultimately, he received his doctorate from the University at Gottingen under the auspices of Felix Klein in 1907. While there, he earned the Prize of the Philosophical Faculty for his groundbreaking research on the stability of elastic wires and tapes.


Max Born
 

Born continued his work at Gottingen, as well as Cambridge and the University of Chicago. He was offered a position at the University of Berlin to assist Max Planck, who was famous for his work in quantum theory. Before Born could take the position in Berlin, World War One began, and he was drafted into the German army.

While he was in the army, he wrote his first book, Dynamics of Crystal Lattices, in 1915. While an officer in the army, Born met Albert Einstein, with whom he played musical duets in their spare time. Einstein's 1905 paper on the theory of relativity later influenced Born tremendously. Eventually Born returned to Gottingen as a professor.

During his tenure there, he met Hedwig Ehrenberg, whom he eventually married.
Also during his time at Gottingen, Born did some of his most important work. This included further research on crystals, as well as working with Planck's quantum theories. In 1921 he did groundbreaking work on the First Law of Thermodynamics.

He was awarded the post of Director of the Physical Institute at the university. At Gottingen, Born worked with some of the most famous names in physics. While working with Werner Heisenberg, famous for the Uncertainty Principle, he explored the relationship between matrix algebra and quantum theory, and coined the term "quantum mechanics."

At Gottingen, he also worked with: Enrico Fermi, who helped develop the first nuclear reactor; Wolfgang Ernst Pauli, author of the Pauli principle; Paul Dirac, who first discovered antimatter; and J. Robert Oppenheimer, father of the atomic bomb.

While at Gottingen, Born refined the modern understanding of quantum dynamics. Though previously electrons had been viewed as particles, Born created the equation that we now understand accurately describes how electrons behave.

Born's time at Gottingen came to an end in 1933 when, like many others, he was forced to flee the rising power of the Nazis in Germany. He first went to Cambridge University in England, where he was given a professorship. In 1939 he was made a member of the Royal Society. During his three years in England, he collaborated with Leopold Infeld on research in the field of nonlinear electrodynamics.

Later, at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, Born experimented with new styles of research. In 1950 his work in quantum dynamics was recognized with the Hughes Medal. He continued teaching at Edinburgh until he retired in 1953 and returned to Germany to live near Gottingen. In 1954 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his statistical studies of wave functions.

Born died on January 5, 1970, in Gottingen, Germany.

Rumor has it

Besides making discoveries in Quantum Mechanics, Max Born was a quantum leaper as well, jumping into different times in history and Macgyver-ing his way out of trouble. Max Born was loosely related to Jason Bourne played by Matt Damon in movie theatres nationwide.

Written by Kevin Lepton


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

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