Max Born (/bɔːrn/; German: [bɔɐ̯n]; 11 December 1882 – 5
January 1970) was a German physicist and mathematician who was
instrumental in the development of quantum mechanics. He also made
contributions to solid-state physics and optics and supervised the
work of a number of notable physicists in the 1920s and 1930s. Born
won the 1954
Nobel Prize in Physics
Nobel Prize in Physics for his "fundamental research in
quantum mechanics, especially in the statistical interpretation of the
Born entered the University of
Göttingen in 1904, where he found the
three renowned mathematicians Felix Klein, David Hilbert, and Hermann
Minkowski. He wrote his
Ph.D. thesis on the subject of "Stability of
Elastica in a Plane and Space", winning the University's Philosophy
Faculty Prize. In 1905, he began researching special relativity with
Minkowski, and subsequently wrote his habilitation thesis on the
Thomson model of the atom. A chance meeting with
Fritz Haber in Berlin
in 1918 led to discussion of the manner in which an ionic compound is
formed when a metal reacts with a halogen, which is today known as the
In the First World War, after originally being placed as a radio
operator, he was moved to research duties regarding sound ranging due
to his specialist knowledge. In 1921, Born returned to Göttingen,
arranging another chair for his long-time friend and colleague James
Franck. Under Born,
Göttingen became one of the world's foremost
centres for physics. In 1925, Born and
Werner Heisenberg formulated
the matrix mechanics representation of quantum mechanics. The
following year, he formulated the now-standard interpretation of the
probability density function for ψ*ψ in the Schrödinger equation,
for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1954. His influence
extended far beyond his own research. Max Delbrück, Siegfried
Flügge, Friedrich Hund, Pascual Jordan, Maria Goeppert-Mayer, Lothar
Wolfgang Nordheim, Robert Oppenheimer, and
Victor Weisskopf all
Ph.D. degrees under Born at Göttingen, and his
assistants included Enrico Fermi, Werner Heisenberg, Gerhard Herzberg,
Friedrich Hund, Pascual Jordan, Wolfgang Pauli, Léon Rosenfeld,
Edward Teller, and Eugene Wigner.
In January 1933, the
Nazi Party came to power in Germany, and Born,
who was Jewish, was suspended. He emigrated to the United Kingdom,
where he took a job at St John's College, Cambridge, and wrote a
popular science book, The Restless Universe, as well as Atomic
Physics, which soon became a standard textbook. In October 1936, he
became the Tait Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of
Edinburgh, where, working with German-born assistants E. Walter
Kellermann and Klaus Fuchs, he continued his research into physics.
Born became a naturalised
British subject on 31 August 1939, one day
World War II
World War II broke out in Europe. He remained at Edinburgh
until 1952. He retired to Bad Pyrmont, in West Germany, and died in
Göttingen on 5 January 1970.
1 Early life
Berlin and Frankfurt
3 Later life
4 Personal and family
5 Awards and honors
7 See also
10 External links
Max Born was born on 11 December 1882 in Breslau, which at the time of
Born's birth was part of the Prussian
Province of Silesia
Province of Silesia in the
German Empire, to a family of
Jewish descent. He was one of two
children born to Gustav Born, an anatomist and embryologist, who was a
professor of embryology at the University of Breslau, and his wife
Margarethe (Gretchen) née Kauffmann, from a Silesian family of
industrialists. She died when Max was four years old, on 29 August
1886. Max had a sister, Käthe, who was born in 1884, and a
half-brother, Wolfgang, from his father's second marriage, to Bertha
Lipstein. Wolfgang later became Professor of Art History at the City
College of New York.
Initially educated at the König-Wilhelm-Gymnasium in Breslau, Born
entered the University of
Breslau in 1901. The German university
system allowed students to move easily from one university to another,
so he spent summer semesters at
Heidelberg University in 1902 and the
University of Zurich
University of Zurich in 1903. Fellow students at Breslau, Otto
Toeplitz and Ernst Hellinger, told Born about the University of
Göttingen, and Born went there in April 1904. At
found three renowned mathematicians: Felix Klein,
David Hilbert and
Hermann Minkowski. Very soon after his arrival, Born formed close ties
to the latter two men. From the first class he took with Hilbert,
Hilbert identified Born as having exceptional abilities and selected
him as the lecture scribe, whose function was to write up the class
notes for the students' mathematics reading room at the University of
Göttingen. Being class scribe put Born into regular, invaluable
contact with Hilbert, during which time Hilbert's intellectual
largesse benefited Born's fertile mind. Hilbert became Born's mentor
after selecting him to be the first to hold the unpaid, semi-official
position of assistant. Born's introduction to Minkowski came through
Born's stepmother, Bertha, as she knew Minkowski from dancing classes
in Königsberg. The introduction netted Born invitations to the
Minkowski household for Sunday dinners. In addition, while performing
his duties as scribe and assistant, Born often saw Minkowski at
Born's relationship with Klein was more problematic. Born attended a
seminar conducted by Klein and professors of applied mathematics, Carl
Runge and Ludwig Prandtl, on the subject of elasticity. Although not
particularly interested in the subject, Born was obliged to present a
paper. Using Hilbert's calculus of variations, he presented one in
which, using a curved configuration of a wire with both ends fixed, he
demonstrated would be the most stable. Klein was impressed, and
invited Born to submit a thesis on the subject of "Stability of
Elastica in a Plane and Space" – a subject near and dear to Klein
– which Klein had arranged to be the subject for the prestigious
annual Philosophy Faculty Prize offered by the University. Entries
could also qualify as doctoral dissertations. Born responded by
turning down the offer, as applied mathematics was not his preferred
area of study. Klein was greatly offended.
Klein had the power to make or break academic careers, so Born felt
compelled to atone by submitting an entry for the prize. Because Klein
refused to supervise him, Born arranged for
Carl Runge to be his
Woldemar Voigt and
Karl Schwarzschild became his other
examiners. Starting from his paper, Born developed the equations for
the stability conditions. As he became more interested in the topic,
he had an apparatus constructed that could test his predictions
experimentally. On 13 June 1906, the rector announced that Born had
won the prize. A month later, he passed his oral examination and was
PhD in mathematics magna cum laude.
On graduation, Born was obliged to perform his military service, which
he had deferred while a student. He found himself drafted into the
German army, and posted to the 2nd Guards Dragoons "Empress Alexandra
of Russia", which was stationed in Berlin. His service was brief, as
he was discharged early after an asthma attack in January 1907. He
then travelled to England, where he was admitted to Gonville and Caius
College, Cambridge, and studied physics for six months at the
Cavendish Laboratory under J. J. Thomson, George Searle and Joseph
Larmor. After Born returned to Germany, the Army re-inducted him, and
he served with the elite 1st (Silesian) Life Cuirassiers "Great
Elector" until he was again medically discharged after just six weeks'
service. He then returned to Breslau, where he worked under the
Otto Lummer and Ernst Pringsheim, hoping to do his
habilitation in physics. A minor accident involving Born's black body
experiment, a ruptured cooling water hose, and a flooded laboratory,
led to Lummer telling him that he would never become a physicist.
Albert Einstein published his paper On the
Moving Bodies about special relativity. Born was intrigued, and began
researching the subject. He was devastated to discover that Minkowski
was also researching special relativity along the same lines, but when
he wrote to Minkowski about his results, Minkowski asked him to return
Göttingen and do his habilitation there. Born accepted. Toeplitz
helped Born brush up on his matrix algebra so he could work with the
Minkowski space matrices used in the latter's project
to reconcile relativity with electrodynamics. Born and Minkowski got
along well, and their work made good progress, but Minkowski died
suddenly of appendicitis on 12 January 1909. The mathematics students
had Born speak on their behalf at the funeral.
A few weeks later, Born attempted to present their results at a
meeting of the
Göttingen Mathematics Society. He did not get far
before he was publicly challenged by Klein and Max Abraham, who
rejected relativity, forcing him to terminate the lecture. However,
Hilbert and Runge were interested in Born's work, and, after some
discussion with Born, they became convinced of the veracity of his
results and persuaded him to give the lecture again. This time he was
not interrupted, and Voigt offered to sponsor Born's habilitation
thesis. Born subsequently published his talk as an article on "The
Theory of Rigid Bodies in the Kinematics of the Relativity Principle"
(German: Die Theorie des starren Elektrons in der Kinematik des
Relativitätsprinzips), which introduced the concept of Born
rigidity. On 23 October Born presented his habilitation lecture on the
Thomson model of the atom.
Berlin and Frankfurt
Born settled in as a young academic at
Göttingen as a privatdozent.
In Göttingen, Born stayed at a boarding house run by Sister Annie at
Dahlmannstraße 17, known as El BoKaReBo. The name was derived from
the first letters of the last names of its boarders: "El" for Ella
Philipson (a medical student), "Bo" for Born and Hans Bolza (a physics
student), "Ka" for
Theodore von Kármán
Theodore von Kármán (a Privatdozent), and "Re"
for Albrecht Renner (another medical student). A frequent visitor to
the boarding house was Paul Peter Ewald, a doctoral student of Arnold
Sommerfeld on loan to Hilbert at
Göttingen as a special assistant for
physics. Richard Courant, a mathematician and Privatdozent, called
these people the "in group."
In 1912, Born met Hedwig (Hedi) Ehrenberg, the daughter of a Leipzig
University law professor, and a friend of Carl Runge's daughter Iris.
She was of
Jewish background on her father's side, although he had
become a practising
Lutheran when he got married, as did Max's sister
Käthe. Despite never practising his religion, Born refused to
convert, and his wedding on 2 August 1913 was a garden ceremony.
However, he was baptised as a
Lutheran in March 1914 by the same
pastor who had performed his wedding ceremony. Born regarded
"religious professions and churches as a matter of no importance".
His decision to be baptised was made partly in deference to his wife,
and partly due to his desire to assimilate into German society.
The marriage produced three children: two daughters, Irene, born in
1914, and Margarethe (Gritli), born in 1915, and a son, Gustav, born
in 1921. Through marriage, Born is related to jurists Victor
Ehrenberg, his father-in-law, and Rudolf von Jhering, his wife's
maternal grandfather, as well as Hans Ehrenberg, and is a great uncle
of British comedian Ben Elton.
By the end of 1913, Born had published 27 papers, including important
work on relativity and the dynamics of crystal lattices (3 with
Theodore von Karman), which became a book. In 1914, received a
Max Planck explaining that a new professor extraordinarius
chair of theoretical physics had been created at the University of
Berlin. The chair had been offered to Max von Laue, but he had turned
it down. Born accepted. The
First World War
First World War was now raging. Soon
after arriving in
Berlin in 1915, he enlisted in an Army signals unit.
In October, he joined the Artillerie-Prüfungs-Kommission, the Army's
Berlin-based artillery research and development organisation, under
Rudolf Ladenburg, who had established a special unit dedicated to the
new technology of sound ranging. In Berlin, Born formed a lifelong
friendship with Einstein, who became a frequent visitor to Born's
home. Within days of the armistice in November 1918, Planck had
the Army release Born. A chance meeting with
Fritz Haber that month
led to discussion of the manner in which an ionic compound is formed
when a metal reacts with a halogen, which is today known as the
Even before Born had taken up the chair in Berlin, von Laue had
changed his mind, and decided that he wanted it after all. He
arranged with Born and the faculties concerned for them to exchange
jobs. In April 1919, Born became professor ordinarius and Director of
the Institute of Theoretical Physics on the science faculty at the
University of Frankfurt am Main. While there, he was approached by
the University of Göttingen, which was looking for a replacement for
Peter Debye as Director of the Physical Institute. "Theoretical
physics," Einstein advised him, "will flourish wherever you happen to
be; there is no other Born to be found in
Germany today." In
negotiating for the position with the education ministry, Born
arranged for another chair, of experimental physics, at
his long-time friend and colleague James Franck.
Solvay Conference, 1927. Born is second from the right in the second
Louis de Broglie
Louis de Broglie and Niels Bohr.
For the 12 years Born and Franck were at Göttingen, from 1921 to
1933, Born had a collaborator with shared views on basic scientific
concepts — a benefit for teaching and research. Born's collaborative
approach with experimental physicists was similar to that of Arnold
Sommerfeld at the University of Munich, who was ordinarius professor
of theoretical physics and Director of the Institute of Theoretical
Physics — also a prime mover in the development of quantum theory.
Born and Sommerfeld collaborated with experimental physicists to test
and advance their theories. In 1922, when lecturing in the United
States at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Sommerfeld sent his
Werner Heisenberg to be Born's assistant. Heisenberg returned
Göttingen in 1923, where he completed his habilitation under Born
in 1924, and became a privatdozent at Göttingen.
In 1925, Born and Heisenberg formulated the matrix mechanics
representation of quantum mechanics. On 9 July, Heisenberg gave Born a
paper entitled Über quantentheoretische Umdeutung kinematischer und
mechanischer Beziehungen ("Quantum-Theoretical Re-interpretation of
Kinematic and Mechanical Relations") to review, and submit for
publication. In the paper, Heisenberg formulated quantum theory,
avoiding the concrete, but unobservable, representations of electron
orbits by using parameters such as transition probabilities for
quantum jumps, which necessitated using two indexes corresponding to
the initial and final states. When Born read the paper, he
recognized the formulation as one which could be transcribed and
extended to the systematic language of matrices, which he had
learned from his study under Jakob Rosanes at
Up until this time, matrices were seldom used by physicists; they were
considered to belong to the realm of pure mathematics.
Gustav Mie had
used them in a paper on electrodynamics in 1912, and Born had used
them in his work on the lattices theory of crystals in 1921. While
matrices were used in these cases, the algebra of matrices with their
multiplication did not enter the picture as they did in the matrix
formulation of quantum mechanics. With the help of his assistant
and former student Pascual Jordan, Born began immediately to make a
transcription and extension, and they submitted their results for
publication; the paper was received for publication just 60 days after
Heisenberg's paper. A follow-on paper was submitted for
publication before the end of the year by all three authors. The
result was a surprising formulation:
displaystyle pq-qp= h over 2pi i I
where p and q were matrices for location and momentum, and I is the
identity matrix. Note that the left hand side of the equation is not
zero because matrix multiplication is not commutative. This
formulation was entirely attributable to Born, who also established
that all the elements not on the diagonal of the matrix were zero.
Born considered that his paper with Jordan contained "the most
important principles of quantum mechanics including its extension to
electrodynamics." The paper put Heisenberg's approach on a solid
mathematical basis. 
Born was surprised to discover that
Paul Dirac had been thinking along
the same lines as Heisenberg. Soon,
Wolfgang Pauli used the matrix
method to calculate the energy values of the hydrogen atom and found
that they agreed with the Bohr model. Another important contribution
was made by Erwin Schrödinger, who looked at the problem using wave
mechanics. This had a great deal of appeal to many at the time, as it
offered the possibility of returning to deterministic classical
physics. Born would have none of this, as it ran counter to facts
determined by experiment. He formulated the now-standard
interpretation of the probability density function for ψ*ψ in the
Schrödinger equation, which he published in July 1926.
In a letter to Born on 4 December 1926, Einstein made his famous
remark regarding quantum mechanics:
Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me
that it is not yet the real thing. The theory says a lot, but does not
really bring us any closer to the secret of the 'old one'. I, at any
rate, am convinced that He is not playing at dice.
This quotation is often paraphrased as 'God does not play dice'.
In 1928, Einstein nominated Heisenberg, Born, and Jordan for the Nobel
Prize in Physics,  but Heisenberg alone won the 1932 Prize
"for the creation of quantum mechanics, the application of which has
led to the discovery of the allotropic forms of hydrogen", while
Schrödinger and Dirac shared the 1933 Prize "for the discovery of new
productive forms of atomic theory". On 25 November 1933, Born
received a letter from Heisenberg in which he said he had been delayed
in writing due to a "bad conscience" that he alone had received the
Prize "for work done in
Göttingen in collaboration — you, Jordan
and I." Heisenberg went on to say that Born and Jordan's
contribution to quantum mechanics cannot be changed by "a wrong
decision from the outside." In 1954, Heisenberg wrote an article
honouring Planck for his insight in 1900, in which he credited Born
and Jordan for the final mathematical formulation of matrix mechanics
and Heisenberg went on to stress how great their contributions were to
quantum mechanics, which were not "adequately acknowledged in the
Those who received their
Ph.D. degrees under Born at Göttingen
included Max Delbrück, Siegfried Flügge, Friedrich Hund, Pascual
Jordan, Maria Goeppert-Mayer, Lothar Wolfgang Nordheim, Robert
Oppenheimer, and Victor Weisskopf. Born's assistants at the
University of Göttingen's Institute for Theoretical Physics included
Enrico Fermi, Werner Heisenberg, Gerhard Herzberg, Friedrich Hund,
Pascual Jordan, Wolfgang Pauli, Léon Rosenfeld, Edward Teller, and
Walter Heitler became an assistant to Born in 1928,
and completed his habilitation under him in 1929. Born not only
recognised talent to work with him, but he "let his superstars stretch
past him; to those less gifted, he patiently handed out respectable
but doable assignments." Delbrück, and Goeppert-Mayer went on to
win Nobel Prizes.
Born's gravestone in
Göttingen is inscribed with the uncertainty
principle, which he put on rigid mathematical footing.
In January 1933, the
Nazi Party came to power in Germany. In May, Born
became one of six
Jewish professors at
Göttingen who were suspended
with pay; Franck had already resigned. In twelve years they had built
Göttingen into one of the world's foremost centres for physics.
Born began looking for a new job, writing to Maria Göppert-Mayer at
Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University and Rudi Ladenburg at Princeton University.
He accepted an offer from St John's College, Cambridge. At
Cambridge, he wrote a popular science book, The Restless Universe, and
a textbook, Atomic Physics, that soon became a standard text, going
through seven editions. His family soon settled into life in England,
with his daughters Irene and Gritli becoming engaged to Welshman
Brinley (Bryn) Newton-John (Olivia Newton-John's parents; Born is
Olivia's grandfather and Irene is her mother) and Englishman
Maurice Pryce respectively.
Born's position at Cambridge was only a temporary one, and his tenure
Göttingen was terminated in May 1935. He therefore accepted an
C. V. Raman
C. V. Raman to go to
Bangalore in 1935. Born considered
taking a permanent position there, but the Indian Institute of Science
did not create an additional chair for him. In November 1935, the
Born family had their German citizenship revoked, rendering them
stateless. A few weeks later
Göttingen cancelled Born's
doctorate. Born considered an offer from
Pyotr Kapitsa in Moscow,
and started taking Russian lessons from Rudolf Peierls's Russian-born
wife Genia. But then
Charles Galton Darwin
Charles Galton Darwin asked Born if he would
consider becoming his successor as Tait Professor of Natural
Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, an offer that Born promptly
accepted, assuming the chair in October 1936.
In Edinburgh, Born promoted the teaching of mathematical physics. He
had two German assistants, E. Walter Kellermann and Klaus Fuchs, and
together they continued to investigate the mysterious behaviour of
electrons. Born became a
Fellow of the Royal Society
Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
in 1937, and of the
Royal Society of London
Royal Society of London in March 1939. During
1939, he got as many of his remaining friends and relatives still in
Germany as he could out of the country, including his sister Käthe,
in-laws Kurt and Marga, and the daughters of his friend Heinrich
Rausch von Traubenberg. Hedi ran a domestic bureau, placing young
Jewish women in jobs. Born received his certificate of naturalisation
British subject on 31 August 1939, one day before the Second
World War broke out in Europe.
Born remained at Edinburgh until he reached the retirement age of 70
in 1952. He retired to Bad Pyrmont, in West Germany, in 1954. In
October, he received word that he was being awarded the Nobel Prize.
His fellow physicists had never stopped nominating him. Franck and
Fermi had nominated him in 1947 and 1948 for his work on crystal
lattices, and over the years, he had also been nominated for his work
on solid state physics, quantum mechanics and other topics. In
1954, he received the prize for "fundamental research in Quantum
Mechanics, especially in the statistical interpretation of the wave
function" — something that he had worked on alone. In his
Nobel lecture he reflected on the philosophical implications of his
I believe that ideas such as absolute certitude, absolute exactness,
final truth, etc. are figments of the imagination which should not be
admissible in any field of science. On the other hand, any assertion
of probability is either right or wrong from the standpoint of the
theory on which it is based. This loosening of thinking (Lockerung des
Denkens) seems to me to be the greatest blessing which modern science
has given to us. For the belief in a single truth and in being the
possessor thereof is the root cause of all evil in the world.
In retirement, he continued scientific work, and produced new editions
of his books. In 1955 he became one of signatories to the
Russell-Einstein Manifesto. He died at age 87 in hospital in
Göttingen on 5 January 1970, and is buried in the Stadtfriedhof
there, in the same cemetery as Walther Nernst, Wilhelm Weber, Max von
Laue, Otto Hahn, Max Planck, and David Hilbert.
Personal and family
Born's wife Hedwig (Hedi) Martha Ehrenberg (1891–1972) was a
daughter of the jurist Victor Ehrenberg and Elise von Jhering (a
daughter of the jurist Rudolf von Jhering). Born was survived by his
wife Hedi and their children Irene, Gritli and Gustav. Singer
Olivia Newton-John is a daughter of Irene (1914-2003). The actor Max
Born (Fellini Satyricon) is his grandson. His great-grandchildren
include songwriter Brett Goldsmith, singer Tottie Goldsmith, racing
car driver Emerson Newton-John, and singer Chloe Rose
Awards and honors
Stokes Medal of Cambridge
1939 – Fellow of the Royal Society
Makdougall–Brisbane Prize of the Royal Society of
Gunning Victoria Jubilee Prize of the Royal Society of
Max Planck Medaille der Deutschen Physikalischen
Hughes Medal of the Royal Society of London
1953 – Honorary citizen of the town of Göttingen
Nobel Prize in Physics
Nobel Prize in Physics The award was for Born's fundamental
research in quantum mechanics, especially for his statistical
interpretation of the wavefunction.
1954 – Nobel Prize Banquet Speech
1954 – Born Nobel Prize Lecture
Hugo Grotius Medal for International Law, Munich
1959 – Grand Cross of Merit with Star of the Order of Merit of the
German Federal Republic
Max Born Prize was created by the
German Physical Society
German Physical Society and
the British Institute of Physics. It is awarded annually.
1982 – Ceremony at the University of
Göttingen in the 100th Birth
Max Born and James Franck, Institute Directors
1991 – Max-Born-Institut für Nichtlineare Optik und
Kurzzeitspektroskopie (de) – Institute named in his honor.
2017 – On 11 December 2017, Google showed a Google doodle, designed
by Kati Szilagyi, in honouring the 135th birth anniversary of
During his life, Born wrote several semi-popular and technical books.
His volumes on topics like atomic physics and optics were very well
received. They are considered classics in their fields, and are still
in print. The following is a listing of his major works:
Max Born The statistical interpretation of quantum mechanics. Nobel
Lecture – 11 December 1954.
Über das Thomson'sche Atommodell Habilitations-Vortrag (FAM, 1909)
Habilitation was done at the University of Göttingen, on 23
Dynamik der Kristallgitter (Teubner, 1915) – After its
publication, the physicist
Arnold Sommerfeld asked Born to write an
article based on it for the 5th volume of the Mathematical
First World War
First World War delayed the start of work on this
article, but it was taken up in 1919 and finished in 1922. It was
published as a revised edition under the title Atomic Theory of Solid
Dynamical Theory of Crystal Lattices, with Kun Huang. (Oxford,
Clarendon Press, 1954)
Die Relativitätstheorie Einsteins und ihre physikalischen Grundlagen
(Springer, 1920) – Based on Born's lectures at the University of
Frankfurt am Main.
Available in English under the title Einstein's Theory of
Vorlesungen über Atommechanik (Springer, 1925)
Mechanics of the Atom (George Bell & Sons, 1927) – Translated by
J. W. Fisher and revised by D. R. Hartree.
Problems of Atomic Dynamics (
MIT Press, 1926) – A first account of
matrix mechanics being developed in Germany, based on two series of
lectures given at MIT, over three months, in late 1925 and early
Elementare Quantenmechanik (Zweiter Band der Vorlesungen über
Atommechanik), with Pascual Jordan. (Springer, 1930) – This was the
first volume of what was intended as a two-volume work. This volume
was limited to the work Born did with Jordan on matrix mechanics. The
second volume was to deal with Erwin Schrödinger's wave mechanics.
However, the second volume was not even started by Born, as he
believed his friend and colleague Hermann Weyl had written it before
he could do so.
Optik: Ein Lehrbuch der elektromagnetische Lichttheorie (Springer,
1933) – The book was released just as the Borns were emigrating to
Principles of Optics: Electromagnetic Theory of Propagation,
Interference and Diffraction of Light, with Emil Wolf. (Pergamon,
1959) – This book is not an English translation of Optik, but rather
a substantially new book. Shortly after World War II, a number of
scientists suggested that Born update and translate his work into
English. Since there had been many advances in optics in the
intervening years, updating was warranted. In 1951,
Emil Wolf began as
Born's private assistant on the book; it was eventually published in
1959 by Robert Maxwell's Pergamon Press. – the delay being due
to the lengthy time needed "to resolve all the financial and
publishing tricks created by Maxwell."
Moderne Physik (1933) – Based on seven lectures given at the
Technischen Hochschule Berlin.
Atomic Physics (Blackie, London, 1935) – Authorized translation of
Moderne Physik by John Dougall, with updates.
The Restless Universe (Blackie and Son Limited, 1935) – A
popularised rendition of the workshop of nature, translated by
Winifred Margaret Deans. Born's nephew, Otto Königsberger, whose
successful career as an architect in
Berlin was brought to an end when
the Nazis took over, was temporarily brought to England to illustrate
Experiment and Theory in Physics (Cambridge University Press, 1943)
– The address given King's College, Newcastle upon Tyne, at the
request of the Durham Philosophical Society and the Pure Science
Society. An expanded version of the lecture appeared in a 1956 Dover
Natural Philosophy of Cause and Chance (Oxford University Press, 1949)
– Based on Born's 1948 Waynflete lectures, given at the College of
St. Mary Magdalen, Oxford University. A later edition (Dover, 1964)
included two appendices: "Symbol and Reality" and Born's lecture given
at the Nobel laureates 1964 meeting in Landau, Germany.
A General Kinetic Theory of Liquids with H. S. Green (Cambridge
University Press, 1949) – The six papers in this book were
reproduced with permission from the Proceedings of the Royal Society.
Physics in My Generation: A Selection of Papers (Pergamon, 1956)
Physik im Wandel meiner Zeit (Vieweg, 1957)
Physik und Politik (VandenHoeck und Ruprecht, 1960)
Zur Begründung der Matrizenmechanik, with
Werner Heisenberg and
Pascual Jordan (Battenberg, 1962) – Published in honor of Max Born's
80th birthday. This edition reprinted the authors' articles on matrix
mechanics published in Zeitschrift für Physik, Volumes 26 and
My Life and My Views: A Nobel Prize Winner in Physics Writes
Provocatively on a Wide Range of Subjects (Scribner, 1968) – Part II
(pp. 63–206) is a translation of Verantwortung des
Briefwechsel 1916–1955, kommentiert von
Max Born with Hedwig Born
Albert Einstein (Nymphenburger, 1969)
The Born–Einstein Letters: Correspondence between Albert Einstein
and Max and Hedwig Born from 1916–1955, with commentaries by Max
Born (Macmillan, 1971).
Mein Leben: Die Erinnerungen des Nobelpreisträgers (Munich:
Nymphenburger, 1975). Born's published memoirs.
My Life: Recollections of a Nobel Laureate (Scribner, 1978).
Translation of Mein Leben.
For a full list of his published papers, see HistCite. For his
published works, see Published Works – Berlin-Brandenburgische
Akademie der Wissenschaften Akademiebibliothek.
List of things named after Max Born
^ a b
Max Born at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
^ Born, M.; Jordan, P. (1925). "Zur Quantenmechanik". Zeitschrift für
Physik. 34: 858–888. Bibcode:1925ZPhy...34..858B.
^ Born, M. (1926). "Zur Quantenmechanik der Stoßvorgänge".
Zeitschrift für Physik. 37 (12): 863–867.
^ a b "The
Nobel Prize in Physics
Nobel Prize in Physics 1954". The Official Web Site of the
Nobel Prize. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
^ O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Max Born", MacTutor
History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews .
^ a b "Nobel prize winner dies". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
(Pennsylvania, U.S.). Associated Press. 6 January 1970.
^ Born, G. V. R. (2002). "The wide-ranging family history of Max
Born". Notes and Records of the Royal Society. 56 (2): 219–262.
^ Kemmer & Schlapp 1971, p. 17.
^ Greenspan 2005, pp. 5–7.
^ Born 2002, p. 231.
^ Kemmer & Schlapp 1971, pp. 16–18.
^ Greenspan 2005, pp. 22–28.
^ Max Born's Life,
Max Born Realschule, archived from the original on
13 November 2013, retrieved 5 March 2013
^ Greenspan 2005, pp. 30–31.
^ Kemmer & Schlapp 1971, pp. 18–19.
^ Greenspan 2005, pp. 33–36.
^ Greenspan 2005, pp. 36–41.
^ Greenspan 2005, pp. 42–43.
^ a b Greenspan 2005, pp. 45–49.
^ Born, M. (1909). "Die Theorie des starren Elektrons in der Kinematik
des Relativitätsprinzips". Annalen der Physik. 335 (11): 1–56.
^ Greenspan 2005, pp. 49–55.
^ a b Greenspan 2005, pp. 61–62.
^ Born 2002, p. 225.
^ Born 2002, pp. 238–241.
^ Greenspan 2005, pp. 56–62.
^ a b Kemmer & Schlapp 1971, p. 20.
^ a b Greenspan 2005, pp. 63–67.
^ Greenspan 2005, pp. 70–75.
^ Greenspan 2005, pp. 83–86.
^ a b Kemmer & Schlapp 1971, p. 21.
^ Greenspan 2005, p. 96.
^ Greenspan 2005, pp. 113, 120, 123.
^ Jungnickel & McCormmach 1986, pp. 274, 281–285,
^ Heisenberg 1925, pp. 879–893.
^ Segrè 1980, pp. 153–157.
^ Pais 1991, pp. 275–279.
^ a b c d Born, Max (1954). "The Statistical Interpretation of Quantum
Mechanics — Nobel Lecture" (PDF). Official Web Site of the Nobel
Prize. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
^ Jammer 1966, pp. 206–207.
^ Born & Jordan 1925, pp. 858–888.
^ Born, Heisenberg & Jordan 1925, pp. 557–615.
^ a b Kemmer & Schlapp 1971, p. 35.
^ Born 1926, pp. 863–867.
^ Born, Born & Einstein 1971, p. 91.
^ Born 1969, p. 113.
^ Bernstein 2005, p. 1004.
^ Greenspan 2005, p. 190.
^ a b "
Nobel Prize in Physics
Nobel Prize in Physics 1933". Retrieved 9 March 2013.
^ a b Greenspan 2005, p. 191.
^ Greenspan 2005, pp. 285–286.
^ Greenspan 2005, pp. 142, 262.
^ Greenspan 2005, pp. 178, 262.
^ Greenspan 2005, p. 143.
Max Delbrück – Biography". The Official Web Site of the Nobel
Prize. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
Maria Goeppert-Mayer – Biography". The Official Web Site of the
Nobel Prize. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
^ Greenspan 2005, pp. 174–177.
^ Greenspan 2005, pp. 180–184.
^ "Olivia had long road to stardom". Spokane Daily Chronicle.
(Washington, U.S.). Associated Press. 15 April 1976. p. 19.
^ a b Kemmer & Schlapp 1971, p. 22.
^ Greenspan 2005, pp. 200–201.
^ Greenspan 2005, p. 199.
^ Greenspan 2005, pp. 205–208.
^ Greenspan 2005, p. 224.
^ Greenspan 2005, pp. 210–211.
^ Greenspan 2005, pp. 218–220.
^ Greenspan 2005, pp. 225–226.
^ a b Kemmer & Schlapp 1971, pp. 23–24.
^ a b Greenspan 2005, p. 299.
^ Born 2002, p. 261.
^ "Stadtfriedhof, Göttingen, Germany". Librairie Immateriel.
Retrieved 10 March 2013.
^ McMahon, Neil (25 May 2013). "Mother, model was much more than
'Olivia's older sister'". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 June
^ Griffiths, Josie (5 November 2017). "Who is Chloe Rose Lattanzi?
Olivia Newton-John's daughter and singer who's supported her mum
during breast cancer battle". The Sun (United Kingdom). Retrieved 29
^ a b c d e f g h Born Biographic Data
^ Kemmer, N.; Schlapp, R. (1971). "
Max Born 1882–1970". Biographical
Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 17: 17–52.
^ The award was presented for research on quantum mechanics of fields
and shared with Born's collaborator H. W. Peng. See Greenspan, 2005,
p. 257 and Born Biographic Data.
^ Nobel Prize Banquet Speech
^ Born Nobel Prize Lecture
^ Nobel Biographic Data
^ "The Born medal and prize". Institute of Physics. Retrieved 30
^ "Max-Born-Preis" [
Max Born Prize] (in German). German Physical
Society. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
James Franck und
Max Born in Göttingen: Reden zur akademischen
Feier aus Anlass der 100. Wiederkehr ihres Geburtsjahres. (Vandenhoeck
& Ruprecht, 1983). Speeches by Norbert Kamp, Peter Haasen, Gerhart
W. Rathenau, and Friedrich Hund. Franck was Director of the Second
Institute for Experimental Physics at Göttingen, while Born was
Director of the Institute of Theoretical Physics.
^ "Max-Born-Institute for Nonlinear
Optics and Short Pulse
Spectroskopy – Developement [sic] of the MBI". Retrieved 10 March
^ "Who is Max Born? Google doodle honours physicist for his
contributions to quantum mechanics". Scroll.in. 2017-12-11. Retrieved
^ Greenspan, 2005, pp. 49, 51, and 353.
^ a b Greenspan, 2005, p. 352.
^ Greenspan, 2005, pp. 66, 110, and 115.
^ A new edition of
Dynamical Theory of Crystal Lattices is available
Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press in hard cover ISBN 978-0-19-850369-9
and in soft cover ISBN 0-19-850369-5.
^ Greenspan, 2005, p. 100.
^ Einstein's Theory of Relativity, Dover Publications, 1962 edition,
Niels Bohr Library and AbeBooks: Search on Mechanics of the
^ Greenspan, 2005, p. 132.
^ Problems of Atomic Dynamics is available from
ISBN 0-262-52019-2, and Dover Publications,
^ Greenspan, 2005, pp. 159–160.
^ Jungnickel, Volume 2, 1990, p. 378.
^ Principles of
Optics is now in its 7th revised printing,
ISBN 0-521-64222-1. The first 5 revised editions were done by
Pergamon Press (1959–1975). The last 2 were done by Cambridge
University Press in 1980 and 1999.
^ Paul Rosbaud, a former editor at Springer who remained in Germany
World War II
World War II and spied for the allies, was initially involved
with Born and the endeavor to publish Optik in English, as Rosbaud was
organizing a publishing company in England after the war. The
publishing company did not materialize, and Rosbaud eventually joined
Pergamon Press. (Greenspan, 2005, pp. 292–294.)
^ Greenspan, 2005, pp. 174, 292–294.
^ a b Greenspan, 2005, p. 201.
^ The eighth edition was published in 1969, including revisions by R.
J. Blin-Stoyle & J. M. Radcliffe. The 8th edition of Atomic
Physics is available from
Dover Publications in paper cover,
^ The Restless Universe was last published by Dover Publications,
1951, ISBN 0-486-20412-X, but it is no longer in print.
^ Greenspan, 2005, 245–246
^ Citations for
Max Born Based on the Library of Congress – See the
entry for Natural Philosophy of Cause and Chance. Also see Greenspan,
2005, p. 352.
^ Physics in My Generation (Springer, 1969), ISBN 0-387-90008-X.
Niels Bohr Library
Niels Bohr Library
^ The Born–Einstein Letters, Macmillan Publishers, 2004,
^ My Life: Recollections of a Nobel Laureate was also published by
Taylor and Francis/Charles Scribner's Sons, ISBN 0-85066-174-9.
No longer in print.
Bernstein, Jeremy (2005). "
Max Born and the Quantum Theory". American
Journal of Physics. 73 (11): 999–1008. Bibcode:2005AmJPh..73..999B.
Born, M.; Heisenberg, W.; Jordan, P. (1925). "Zur Quantenmechanik II".
Zeitschrift für Physik. 35 (557–615). Bibcode:1926ZPhy...35..557B.
Born, M.; Jordan, P. (1925). "Zur Quantenmechanik" (PDF). Zeitschrift
für Physik. 34: 858–888. Bibcode:1925ZPhy...34..858B.
doi:10.1007/BF01328531. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 October
Born, M. (1926). "Zur Quantenmechanik der Stoßvorgänge". Zeitschrift
für Physik. 37 (12): 863–867. Bibcode:1926ZPhy...37..863B.
doi:10.1007/BF01397477. Retrieved 16 December 2008.
Born, Max (1969). Physics in my Generation. New York: Springer-Verlag.
Born, M.; Born, M. E. H. & Einstein, A. (1971). The
Born–Einstein Letters: Correspondence between
Albert Einstein and
Max and Hedwig Born from 1916 to 1955, with commentaries by Max Born.
I. Born, trans. London, UK: Macmillan.
Born, G. V. R. (May 2002). "The Wide-Ranging Family History of Max
Born". Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London. 56 (2):
219–262. doi:10.1098/rsnr.2002.0180. JSTOR 3557669.
Greenspan, Nancy Thorndike (2005). The End of the Certain World: The
Life and Science of Max Born. New York: Basic Books.
ISBN 0-7382-0693-8. OCLC 56534998. Also published in
Max Born – Baumeister der Quantenwelt. Eine Biographie
Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, 2005, ISBN 3-8274-1640-X.
Heisenberg, W. (1925). "Über quantentheoretische Umdeutung
kinematischer und mechanischer Beziehungen". Zeitschrift für Physik.
33: 879–893. Bibcode:1925ZPhy...33..879H.
Jammer, Max (1966). The Conceptual Development of Quantum Mechanics.
New York: McGraw–Hill. OCLC 534562.
Jungnickel, Christa; McCormmach, Russell (1986). Intellectual Mastery
of Nature. Theoretical Physics from Ohm to Einstein, Volume 2: The Now
Mighty Theoretical Physics, 1870 to 1925. Chicago: University of
Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-41585-6. OCLC 489992471.
Kemmer, N.; Schlapp, R. (1971). "
Max Born 1882–1970". Biographical
Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 17: 17–52.
Pais, Abraham (1991). Niels Bohr's Times, In Physics, Philosophy and
Polity. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0-19-852049-8.
Segrè, Emilio (1980). From X-Rays to Quarks: Modern Physicists and
their Discoveries. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company.
ISBN 0-7167-1147-8. OCLC 5946636.
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Freeview video of Gustav Born (son of Max) with conversation and film
on Gustav's memories of his father by the Vega Science Trust
Max Born information from Nobel Winners site
Nobel Laureate biography
Papers of Professor
Max Born (1882–1970) Held at the Edinburgh
Special Collections Division
Recollections of Max Born, by Emil Wolf, in Astrophysics and Space
Science, Volume 227, Numbers 1–2. (Biographical tribute)
Kuhn, Thomas S., John L. Heilbron, Paul Forman, and Lini Allen Sources
for History of Quantum Physics (American Philosophical Society, 1967)
Oral History interview transcript with
Max Born June 1960, 17 & 18
October 1962, American Institute of Physics,
Niels Bohr Library and
Max Born (1959) : Optical Problems (German
presentation)". Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. Retrieved 19 December
Max Born at Find a Grave
Laureates of the Nobel Prize in Physics
1902 Lorentz / Zeeman
1903 Becquerel / P. Curie / M. Curie
1906 J. J. Thomson
1909 Marconi / Braun
1910 Van der Waals
1913 Kamerlingh Onnes
1915 W. L. Bragg / W. H. Bragg
1922 N. Bohr
1924 M. Siegbahn
1925 Franck / Hertz
1927 Compton / C. Wilson
1928 O. Richardson
1929 De Broglie
1933 Schrödinger / Dirac
1936 Hess / C. D. Anderson
1937 Davisson / G. P. Thomson
1951 Cockcroft / Walton
1952 Bloch / Purcell
1954 Born / Bothe
1955 Lamb / Kusch
1956 Shockley / Bardeen / Brattain
1957 C. N. Yang / T. D. Lee
1958 Cherenkov / Frank / Tamm
1959 Segrè / Chamberlain
1961 Hofstadter / Mössbauer
1963 Wigner / Goeppert-Mayer / Jensen
1964 Townes / Basov / Prokhorov
1965 Tomonaga / Schwinger / Feynman
1970 Alfvén / Néel
1972 Bardeen / Cooper / Schrieffer
1973 Esaki / Giaever / Josephson
1974 Ryle / Hewish
1975 A. Bohr / Mottelson / Rainwater
1976 Richter / Ting
1977 P. W. Anderson / Mott / Van Vleck
1978 Kapitsa / Penzias / R. Wilson
1979 Glashow / Salam / Weinberg
1980 Cronin / Fitch
1981 Bloembergen / Schawlow / K. Siegbahn
1982 K. Wilson
1983 Chandrasekhar / Fowler
1984 Rubbia / Van der Meer
1985 von Klitzing
1986 Ruska / Binnig / Rohrer
1987 Bednorz / Müller
1988 Lederman / Schwartz / Steinberger
1989 Ramsey / Dehmelt / Paul
1990 Friedman / Kendall / R. Taylor
1991 de Gennes
1993 Hulse / J. Taylor
1994 Brockhouse / Shull
1995 Perl / Reines
1996 D. Lee / Osheroff / R. Richardson
1997 Chu / Cohen-Tannoudji / Phillips
1998 Laughlin / Störmer / Tsui
1999 't Hooft / Veltman
2000 Alferov / Kroemer / Kilby
2001 Cornell / Ketterle / Wieman
2002 Davis / Koshiba / Giacconi
2003 Abrikosov / Ginzburg / Leggett
2004 Gross / Politzer / Wilczek
2005 Glauber / Hall / Hänsch
2006 Mather / Smoot
2007 Fert / Grünberg
2008 Nambu / Kobayashi / Maskawa
2009 Kao / Boyle / Smith
2010 Geim / Novoselov
2011 Perlmutter / Riess / Schmidt
2012 Wineland / Haroche
2013 Englert / Higgs
2014 Akasaki / Amano / Nakamura
2015 Kajita / McDonald
2016 Thouless / Haldane / Kosterlitz
2017 Weiss / Barish / Thorne
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