Max Born (born December 11, 1882 in Breslau ; † January 5, 1970 in Göttingen ) was a German mathematician and physicist who later took on British citizenship in exile before persecution by the National Socialists. For fundamental contributions to quantum mechanics , he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1954 .
life and work
Max Born grew up in Breslau. He came from a bourgeois, German-Jewish family. His father Gustav Born was a professor of anatomy and embryology at the University of Breslau , his grandfather Marcus Born the first Jewish district doctor in Prussia. His mother Margarete Kaufmann came from a family in the textile industry in Breslau and was interested in music, but she died when Born was four years old. In 1890 the father married again. The parents' house was culturally open and his father's friends included Albert Neisser and Paul Ehrlich . Born had a younger sister Käthe (1883–1953) and a half-brother Wolfgang (1893–1949) from his father's second marriage to Bertha Lipstein, who later became professor of art history at the City College of New York. As a student he was a frequent guest at Neisser's, where many well-known musicians frequented ( Ferruccio Busoni , Artur Schnabel , Edwin Fischer , Carl Flesch ) and writers like Gerhart Hauptmann .
After attending the humanistic König-Wilhelm-Gymnasium , Max Born studied law and moral philosophy from 1901 in Breslau (where the mathematicians Otto Toeplitz and Ernst Hellinger were fellow students), Heidelberg (where he met James Franck and became friends with him), Zurich and Göttingen , later mathematics , physics and astronomy . He received his doctorate in 1906 under Carl Runge in Göttingen ( investigations into the stability of the elastic line in plane and space, under different boundary conditions ). During his studies, he had aroused the displeasure of the very influential mathematician Felix Klein when he initially refused to submit his thesis on the elastic line as a prize paper to the university - he finally gave in and won the prize in 1906. Shortly after the illness of the student, who was originally supposed to speak about it, Born jumped in at Klein and Runge's seminar to deal with the topic. Klein was so impressed by the result that he announced a prize with the ulterior motive that Born should receive it. In his doctoral examination he avoided Klein as an examiner and chose astronomy as a minor under Karl Schwarzschild , his other examiner was Woldemar Voigt . He was examined in mathematics by David Hilbert . Before the exam, Born asked Hilbert which topics would be dealt with, Hilbert asked the counter-question about which topic he knew least about. Born answered ideal theory, to which Hilbert only asked questions about it (he later explained that he wanted to find out what he knew about a topic that he said he didn't know about). Then he was physical assistant (unpaid private assistant) to David Hilbert, where he also worked closely with Minkowski. He did his military service, which was shortened by his asthma, after completing his doctorate. Half a year later he stayed in Cambridge with Joseph Larmor and JJ Thomson . In 1908/09 he studied experimental physics with Otto Lummer and Ernst Pringsheim senior in Breslau (since a cooling hose that flooded the laboratory during his internship experiment, however, Lummer advised him not to pursue a further career in this field), but also dealt with the theory of relativity (and specifically the theory of rigid bodies in the theory of relativity and the theory of the electron). At the end of 1908 he returned to Hermann Minkowski in Göttingen, with whom he worked on the theory of relativity from December 1908 until his sudden death after an appendectomy in January 1909.
He completed his habilitation in Göttingen in 1909 with a thesis on the theory of the rigid body in the theory of relativity. His trial lecture was on Thomson's atomic model.
After Minkowski's death, Born released his physical work from the estate. Another field of research was the theory of atomic crystal lattices . About this he published the book Dynamics of Crystal Lattices in 1915 . With Theodore von Kármán he developed the Born von Kármán theory of the specific heat of solids.
Time of the First World War
At the beginning of the First World War he shared the general enthusiasm for war , but was not suitable for the front because of his asthma . In 1915 he joined the army as a radio operator and became a member of a group of technicians and physicists under the direction of Max Wien . During this time he was part of the artillery testing commission in a group under the direction of Rudolf Ladenburg with sound location tests. During this time he tried to pull other physicists and mathematicians away from the front line and thus save them from the war.
After completing his habilitation, Born was a private lecturer in Göttingen from 1912, was an associate professor at the University of Frankfurt in 1914/1915 and then became an associate professor for theoretical physics at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Berlin , where he worked with Max Planck , Albert Einstein and Walther Nernst worked together. In 1919 he received his first chair (full professor) in Frankfurt am Main (where he swapped his chair with that of Max von Laue , who went to Berlin).
Professor in Göttingen
Born was a professor in Göttingen from 1921 to 1933. Here he developed large parts of modern quantum mechanics with Wolfgang Pauli , Werner Heisenberg , Pascual Jordan and Friedrich Hund, among others . Methods named after him such as the Born-Oppenheimer approximation in molecular physics (1928) and the Born approximation in scattering theory are reminiscent of his pioneering achievements.
Born had a lifelong close friendship with Albert Einstein, even if Einstein viewed Born's work on quantum theory with skepticism. His correspondence with Einstein, which is interesting for the history of the interpretation of quantum mechanics, has been published in book form.
In 1934, with Leopold Infeld , he developed the Born-Infeld theory, a relativistic, non-linear generalization of electrodynamics, which was supposed to make the electromagnetic self-energy of the electron (or point charges in general) finite. It later found new application in string theory (gauge fields on D-branes).
Above all, Born is thanks to the development of a fertile school of theoretical physicists in Göttingen at the beginning of the 20th century, to which many foreign physicists also came. His doctoral students include Maria Goeppert-Mayer , Victor Weisskopf , Robert Oppenheimer , Siegfried Flügge , Friedrich Hund , Pascual Jordan , Maurice Pryce (in Cambridge), Herbert S. Green (in Edinburgh).
Time of National Socialism / emigration
In 1933, after gaining power of the Nazis , Max Born was because of his Jewish ancestry and his pacifist forced leave adjustment, due to the professional Civil Service Law of the Hitler government. In 1936 his German citizenship was revoked. He emigrated to England (he became a British citizen in 1939) and initially held a lectureship in Cambridge from 1933, then a professorship at the University of Edinburgh from 1936 , where he stayed until his return to Germany in 1953.
In 1936 Max Born was offered a position at the Indian Institute of Sciences in Bangalore . His host, CV Raman , tried to create a permanent position for him. It failed because the administration was of the opinion that theoretical physics was speculative and useless for industry. Born left India after about 6 months.
In Great Britain Born got involved in the emergency community of German scientists abroad in order to find jobs for other persecuted academics.
In Germany again
On June 28, 1953, he was made an honorary citizen of Göttingen, where a street was later named after him. His grave is in the Göttingen city cemetery , although he did not last live in Göttingen itself, but in Bad Pyrmont , 68 km away .
In addition to his physical investigations, Max Born repeatedly tried to make himself heard with speeches on philosophical and socio-political topics. In 1957 he was one of 18 signatories of the Göttingen Manifesto , which opposed the planned nuclear armament of the Bundeswehr .
In this context he has repeatedly pointed out the important role his wife Hedwig played in the formation and verification of his own positions. Together with her he wrote the book The Luxury of Conscience - Experiences and Insights in the Atomic Age (1958).
He had been with since 1913 Hedwig (Hedi) Martha Ehrenberg (1891–1972) married, a daughter of the lawyer Victor Ehrenberg , with whom he had three children: Irene (1914–2003), Gritli and Gustav Victor Rudolf Born , a well-known British pharmacologist. The singer and actress Olivia Newton-John is a daughter of his daughter Irene. The social scientist and musician Georgina Born is also a granddaughter of Max Born. For the sake of his wife Hedi, he converted to the Lutheran faith in 1914.
Awards and memberships
- 1924: Corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (honorary member from 1934)
- 1937: Member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
- 1939: Member of the Royal Society of London
- 1958: Member and honorary member of the Leopoldina
- 1959: Large Federal Cross of Merit with star and shoulder ribbon
- Born was a member of other scientific academies, such as the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen (since 1920) and the Prussian Academy of Sciences . In 1955 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and in 1959 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences .
- He was a nine-time honorary doctor.
- 1954 Nobel Prize in Physics
- The DPG and the Institute of Physics award the Max Born Prize annually .
- The Optical Society of America annually presents the Max Born Award for physical optics.
- According to him, the Max-Born-Gymnasium (Germering) near Munich , the Max-Born-Gymnasium (Backnang) near Stuttgart , the Max-Born-Gymnasium near Heidelberg , the Max-Born-Realschule in Dortmund , the Max- Born-Gymnasium Vocational college in Recklinghausen , the Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short-Term Spectroscopy in Berlin and the Max Born Realschule in Bad Pyrmont - not least because he spent his last years in Bad Pyrmont on Marcardstrasse. Furthermore, the building of the physical faculty at the Technical University of Dortmund bears his name.
- In Hamburg-Bahrenfeld a street is named after him, which according to the political will of the Altona district should actually be called Hedwig-und-Max-Born-Straße , which the Hamburg state government rejected. Also in the Bergheim district of “Zieverich”, in the Berlin technology park “ Adlershof ”, in Bietigheim-Bissingen , in Düsseldorf- Wersten , in Frankfurt-Riedberg , in Karlsruhe- Wolfartsweier , in Laatzen near Hanover, in Mainz-Hechtsheim , in Munich- Moosach , Ulm and the “Am Stern” district of Potsdam are named after him.
- The lunar crater Born and the asteroid (13954) Born are named after him.
- In 1955 Born was a co-signer of the Russell Einstein Manifesto .
- In 2017 Born was honored on his birthday, December 11th, with a doodle on the Google search page.
- Investigations into the stability of the elastic line in plane and space, under different boundary conditions (dissertation 1906).
- Dynamics of the crystal lattice (1915)
- Einstein's Theory of Relativity (1920), Springer, ISBN 3-540-04540-6 .
- Solid state atomic theory (dynamics of crystal lattices) . In: Encyclopedia of Mathematical Sciences, including its applications . Leipzig 1922, p. 35ff. ( online ).
- Lectures on atomic mechanics (1925), MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-52019-2 .
- (with Pascual Jordan): On quantum mechanics . In: Zeitschrift für Physik 34, 1925, p. 858 ff. (English translation in: Sources of Quantum Mechanics . Ed. By BL van der Waerden, Amsterdam 1967, p. 277 ff .; online ( Memento from April 20, 2008 in Internet Archive ), PDF, 184 kB).
- (with Werner Heisenberg and Pascual Jordan): On Quantum Mechanics II . In: Zeitschrift für Physik 35, 1926, p. 557 ff. (English translation in: Sources of Quantum Mechanics . Ed. By BL van der Waerden, Amsterdam 1967, p. 321 ff .; online ( Memento from April 20, 2008 in Internet Archive ), PDF, 310 kB).
- On the wave mechanics of the impact processes . In: Nachrichten von der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, Mathematisch-Physikalische Klasse , 1926, pp. 290 ff. (January 14, 1927; online ).
- Optics. A textbook on electromagnetic light theory (1933), Reprint Springer 1972.
- Experiment and theory in physics (1943).
- Natural philosophy of cause and chance (1949).
- with Kun Huang Dynamical Theory of Crystal Lattices , Clarendon Press, Oxford 1954.
- Physics through the ages (1957).
- The luxury of conscience (co-author of Hedwig Born) (1958).
- Principles of Optics (together with Emil Wolf ) (1959)
- Selected treatises , 2 volumes, Göttingen, Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht (1963)
- On the responsibility of the natural scientist (1965).
- Max Born: My life. The memories of the Nobel Prize winner . Nymphenburger Verlag, 1975, ISBN 3-485-00204-6 .
- English edition: My life and my views , New York: Scribners 1968 and My Life: Recollections of a Nobel Laureate , Scribners 1978
- Max Born, Albert Einstein: Albert Einstein, Hedwig and Max Born Correspondence: 1916–1955 / commented by Max Born, foreword by Bertrand Russell, foreword by Werner Heisenberg . Nymphenburger Verlag, Munich 1969, ISBN 3-499-11478-X .
Festive Colloquium 1962/1963
In the winter semester of 1962/63, on the occasion of Max Born's eightieth birthday, a celebratory colloquium was held at the physics department of the University of Göttingen, at which Werner Heisenberg gave a lecture on what was then known as the “ universal formula ” and Friedrich Hund was also present (both of Max Born's assistants in the twenties). During the discussion after the lecture, Max Born, who had sat in the middle of the first bench, jumped over the parapet like a young athlete and, after just a few words, painted his own formulas on the blackboard. The formulas associated with the so-called Born-Infeld theory from the thirties were only understood by very few listeners at the time, but that was not intended: “For the young people” he (the eighty-year-old [!]) Only wanted a few Give suggestions .
- Born probability interpretation
- Born-Landé equation
- Born rigidity
- Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy
- GVR Born: The Wide-Ranging Family History of Max Born , in: Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London , Vol. 56., pp. 219-262.
- Nancy Thorndike Greenspan: Max Born - Builder of the Quantum World. A biography, spectrum Akademischer Verlag, Heidelberg 2005, ISBN 3-8274-1640-X .
- Armin Hermann : Born, Max . In: Charles Coulston Gillispie (Ed.): Dictionary of Scientific Biography . tape 15 , Supplement I: Roger Adams - Ludwik Zejszner and Topical Essays . Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1978, p. 39-44 .
- Frank Holl : Production and Distribution of Scientific Literature. The physicist Max Born and his publisher Ferdinand Springer 1913–1970 . Booksellers Association, Frankfurt am Main 1996, ISBN 3-7657-1962-5 (also in: Archive for the history of books , Volume 45, 1996).
- Pascual Jordan : Encounters: Albert Einstein, Karl Heim, Hermann Oberth, Wolfgang Pauli, Walter Heitler, Max Born, Werner Heisenberg, Max von Laue, Niels Bohr. Stalling, Oldenburg 1971, ISBN 3-7979-1934-4 .
- Nicholas Kemmer , R. Schlapp: Max Born 1882-1970 , Biographical Memoirs of the Fellows of the Royal Society, Volume 17, 1971, pp. 17-52
- Jost Lemmerich , Friedrich Hund : Max Born, James Franck , physicists in their time: the luxury of conscience . Reichert, Wiesbaden 1982, ISBN 3-88226-148-X .
- Anikó Szabó: eviction, return, reparation. Göttingen university professor in the shadow of National Socialism, with biographical documentation of the dismissed and persecuted university professors: University of Göttingen - TH Braunschweig - TH Hannover - University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover. Wallstein , Göttingen 2000, ISBN 978-3-89244-381-0 (= publications of the working group History of Lower Saxony (after 1945), Volume 15, also dissertation at the University of Hanover 1998).
- Investigations into the stability of the elastic line in plane and space: under different boundary conditions
- Born, Max , in: Werner Röder; Herbert A. Strauss (Ed.): International Biographical Dictionary of Central European Emigrés 1933-1945 . Volume 2.1. Munich: Saur, 1983 ISBN 3-598-10089-2 , p. 134f.
- Literature by and about Max Born in the catalog of the German National Library
- Works by and about Max Born in the German Digital Library
- Irmgard Zündorf: Max Born. Tabular curriculum vitae in the LeMO ( DHM and HdG )
- Information from the Nobel Foundation on the 1954 award ceremony for Max Born (English)
- John J. O'Connor, Edmund F. Robertson : Max Born. In: MacTutor History of Mathematics archive .
- Gabriele Dörflinger: Born, Max (11.12.1882–5.1.1970) (PDF, 439 KB, created 2015) in the Homo Heidelbergensis mathematicus collection
- Interview by Deutsche Welle from the series: Time Travel - Interview with Nobel Prize Winners, available at podcast.at as mp3 ( memento from October 23, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), approx. 6.7 MB
- Entry to Born; Max (1882–1970) in the Archives of the Royal Society , London
- Two-part lecture by Max Born in the online archive of the Austrian Mediathek
- Obituary for Max Born, published on January 16, 1970 by Hans-Heinrich Voigt , Rector of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.
- Kemmer, Schlapp: Max Born, Biogr. Memoirs Fellows Royal Society 1971, p. 42
- Jagdish Mehra, Helmut Rechenberg, The Historical Development of Quantum Theory, Volume 1-1, Springer 1982, p. 297
- Jagdish Mehra, Helmut Rechenberg, The Historical Development of Quantum Theory, Volume 1-1, Springer 1982, p. 299.Born published this as The Theory of the Rigid Body in the Kinematics of the Relativity Principle , Annalen der Physik, Volume 30, 1909, Pp. 1-56
- Arne Schirrmacher: Physics in the Great War , Physics Journal 13 (2014), No. 7, pp. 43–48.
- Nancy Greenspan Max Born , p. 83. His efforts came too late with the former Göttingen mathematics student Herbert Herkner, whom he classified as a promising mathematical genius. But he couldn't publish anything before his death. Shortly before his recall, Herkner fell on November 22, 1917 in Cambrai in a British offensive. Born published an obituary in the natural sciences, Volume 15, 1918, p. 179.
- Biography, Max Born , Humboldt University Berlin, accessed on May 24, 2019
- Born, Infeld Foundations of the New Field Theory Proc. R. Soc. Lond., Vol. 144, 1934, pp. 425-451
- Singh Rajinder: Nobel Laureate CV Raman's Work on Light Scattering . Logos Verlag, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-8325-0567-9 , p. 119-146 .
- Singh Rajinder: Max Born's Role in Lattice Dynamics Controversy . In: Centaurus . tape 43 , October 1, 2008, p. 260-277 .
- The Göttingen Declaration 1957 at uni-goettingen.de
- Foreign members of the Russian Academy of Sciences since 1724: Born, Max. Russian Academy of Sciences, accessed on October 10, 2019 (Russian).
- Biographical Index: Former RSE Fellows 1783–2002. Royal Society of Edinburgh, accessed October 10, 2019 .
- Member of Max Born (with picture and CV) at the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina , accessed on September 22, 2016.
- Biography of Max Born of the Nobel Foundation at the award ceremony in 1954 .
- Expulsion, return, reparation by Anikó Szabó .
- Singh Rajinder, Riess Falk: Nobel Prize. (PDF) In: Indian Journal of History of Science. 2013, accessed January 7, 2016 .
- Jens Minor: Google-Doodle: Max Born - for the 135th birthday of the German physicist and Nobel Prize winner - GWB. In: googlewatchblog.de. January 24, 2018, accessed December 16, 2019 .
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||German-British mathematician and physicist, Nobel laureate in physics|
|DATE OF BIRTH||December 11, 1882|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Wroclaw|
|DATE OF DEATH||5th January 1970|
|Place of death||Goettingen|