Max Born

Biography of Max Born, the eminent Nobel

The mathematician and physicist Max born, considered one of the greatest eminences of the 20th century, was born in Breslau, on December 11, 1882. He was of Jewish origin, the son of Gustav Jacob Born, professor, anatomist and embryologist and of Margarette Kauffmann, who passed away when Max was just a four-year-old boy. He grew up with his family, made up of his father, his sister Käthe and his half brother Wolfgang son of his father with his second wife Bertha Lipstein.

Of his union with Hedwig Ehrenberg, with whom he married on August 2, 1913, three children were born: Irene, Gritli and Gustav. It should be noted that, her daughter Irene was the mother of the famous actress and singer Olivia Newton-John.

Born always stood out for being a person of great humility and generosity, for his excellent teamwork, for providing support to young scientists and he always showed signs of social conscience. Despite his situation, during the war period he always showed ideals of peace.

Born’s studies, work and research

The renowned physicist attended his high school stage at the König-Wilhelm Gymnasium, and then transfer to university studies and doctorate at the University of Breslau, the University of Heidelberg and the University of Zurich. His thesis “Studies on the stability of the elastic line in the plane and space, under different boundary conditions”, to obtain a doctorate in mathematics, defended it at the University of Göttingen on June 13, 1906, with “A Thomson Highest Atomic Model”.

In that same institution he was related to renowned scientists and mathematicians, such as David Hilbert, Felix Klein, Hermann Minkowski, Karl Schwarzschild, David Carle Runge Tolm and Woldemar Voigt. Max also studied at the Gonville and Caius College, in Cambridge.

Solvay Conference, 1927. Born is second from right in the second row, between Louis de Broglie and Niels Bohr.

Max Born was a professor of theoretical physics at the Berlin university, where he had the opportunity to interact with Fritz Haber Y Albert Einstein, who was his teacher and great friend, despite their differences in their scientific studies on quantum mechanics. In fact, he was always influenced by Einstein, which is why, with his analyzes, he expanded “The theory of relativity”, with whose studies he promoted the idea of “The statistical interpretation of Quantum Theory”. Einstein he did not share Born’s idea that “nature was governed by statistical laws.” In fact, because of that discrepancy, Einstein wrote to Born, one of his famous phrases “God does not play dice.”

Born also served as a teacher at the Frankfurt University, where he had full access to a large laboratory, in which he experimented with his assistant Otto Stern. In 1929, he moved to the University of Göttingen, which became the most important school of theoretical physics in the world, thanks to the presence of Born. During these years, he lived for a brief period in the U.S.

On the other hand, Marx Born developed important research on “dynamics of crystal lattice structures”, “the theory of relativity” and established an essential critical clarification of quantum mechanics.

Then, in 1933, he did not escape Nazism and due to his status as a Jew, he could not continue with his professorship. In view of his situation, he moved to the United Kingdom, became a British citizen and began to practice again teaching his subject.

He carried out his work in the investigation direction, in the University of Cambridge. In this period, his main field of research is nonlinear electrodynamics, a subject for which he developed a collaboration with Infeld. Between 1935 and 1936, Born spent a period of six months in Bangalore in the Indian Institute of Sciences, where he worked with Sir CV Raman.

Later he dedicated himself to work as a teacher of Natural Philosophy in the Edinburgh university, where it was named Emeritus Professor, from 1936 to 1953, when he retired from academic activity.

In 1915, he received the proposal to work with Max planck in the Berlin university, as an extraordinary professor, but at that time Born was called to arms, he was sent to an army scientific office. There he carried out his work on the physical aspects of soundtracks. Max studied the theory of crystals, later publishing the results.

Awards and works

At just 24 years old, he received the award from the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Göttingen for his study on the stability of cables and elastic bands.

In 1948 he was awarded the Max Planck Medal, award granted by the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft , due to his extraordinary contributions to Theoretical Physics.

By 1950, The Royal Society granted him the Hughes Medal, an award he received “for his contributions to theoretical physics, in general, and to the development of quantum mechanics, in particular.”

As an honor to the renowned physicist, the Moon crater Born was nominated with his name.

The denomination of the asteroid (13954) Born, it is also an honor to its name.

After they named him Honorary Citizen of Göttingen, in 1954 Max Born received the Nobel Prize in Physics, shared with the nuclear physicist Walther bothe, for his statistical studies on wave functions.

In 1959 he was awarded the Grand Cross of Merit and Star of the Order of Merit by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Among some of the works that we can mention are: “The Restless Universe” published in 1936, “Dynamical Theory of Cristal Lattices” from 1953, which he published with the collaboration of Kun Huang, “Physik im Wandel meiner Zeit” (1957) and “Physik und Politik” 1960. In addition, it is important to mention that the work on his memoirs was published after his death, in 1978: “My Life. Recollection of a Nobel Laureate ”.His quiet period of retirement, the great physicist Max Born, was spent in Bad Pyrmont, a small seaside resort, before he died on January 5, 1970 in his beloved Göttingen, at the advanced age of 87.

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