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Follow the link for more information. German physicist and mathematician who was instrumental in the development of quantum mechanics. Born entered the University of Göttingen in 1904, where he found the three renowned mathematicians Felix Klein, David Hilbert, and Hermann Minkowski. 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.
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. Initially educated at the König-Wilhelm-Gymnasium in Breslau, Born entered the University of Breslau in 1901. 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. 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 supervisor. Woldemar Voigt and Karl Schwarzschild became his other examiners. Starting from his paper, Born developed the equations for the stability conditions. 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. In 1905, Albert Einstein published his paper On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies about special relativity. Born was intrigued, and began researching the subject.
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. On 23 October Born presented his habilitation lecture on the Thomson model of the atom. Born settled in as a young academic at Göttingen as a privatdozent.
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. 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. Born is second from the right in the second row, between 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.
In 1925, Born and Heisenberg formulated the matrix mechanics representation of quantum mechanics. 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. Note that the left hand side of the equation is not zero because matrix multiplication is not commutative. 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.
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’. 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 twelve years they had built Göttingen into one of the world’s foremost centres for physics.
Born’s position at Cambridge was only a temporary one, and his tenure at Göttingen was terminated in May 1935. He therefore accepted an offer from C. Raman to go to Bangalore in 1935. 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 remained at Edinburgh until he reached the retirement age of 70 in 1952.