Mediatheque

Max Born spends a Summer Semester at the University of Zurich. There, Born is deeply impressed by Hurwitz's lectures on higher analysis.

Many physicists have continued to nominate Born for the Nobel Prize in Physics for many years considering him one of founding fathers of one of the two pillars of modern physics: quantum mechanics. Eventually, he earns the Prize in 1954 "for his fundamental research in quantum mechanics, especially for his statistical interpretation of the wavefunction," sharing the prize with Walter Bothe for his invention of the coincidence method.

After World War I, von Laue changes his mind and organises an exchange of jobs. In April 1919, Born becomes Ordinary Professor and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Physics in the science faculty at the University of Frankfurt am Main. He has a laboratory at his disposal and Otto Stern, who will gain a Nobel Prize in 1943, is his assistant.

After attending the König Wilhelm's Gymnasium in Breslau, Max Born enrols at the University of Breslau where the mathematician Jacob Rosanes introduces him to the matrix calculus.

Max Born is born in Breslau (poln.: Wroclaw, then part of the Prussian Province of Silesia) to Professor Gustav Born, anatomist and embryologist at the University of Breslau, and his wife Margarete, née Kauffmann, who comes from a family of industrialists. His mother dies when Max Born is four years old, on 29 August 1886.

Max Born is invited in Göttingen to replace P. Debye as the director of the Physics Institute. Under Born's direction, Göttingen University becomes one of the major centres for the development of quantum mechanics in the 1920s. The list of Born's students and/or assistants in this period is impressive, including Delbrück, Flügge, Goeppert-Mayer, Nordheim, Oppenheimer, Weisskopf, Fermi, Heisenberg, Herzberg, Hund, Jordan, Pauli, Rosenfeld, Teller, Wigner and Heitler.

Because of World War I, Max Born is enlisted in the German Armed Forces. He joins Army's Berlin-based artillery research and development organisation. His task is to study and develop the new technology of sound ranging. In this period, Born is able to study the theory of crystals, and publishes his first book, "Dynamik der Kristallgitter" (Dynamics of Crystal Lattices), summarising investigations started at Göttingen.

On the basis of Max Born's paper on special relativity, Minkowski invites Born to work with him at Göttingen University. Born continues to work on special relativity (SRT) and develops the concept of rigid body in SRT. Thanks to this work, he obtains the Habilitation in Physics. Later, Born continues to work there as a privatdozent also contributing to develop and publish the last works of Minkowski.

Max Born dies in a hospital in Göttingen on 5 January 1970. He is survived by his wife who dies in 1972, and his children Irene, Gritli and Gustav. He is buried in the Stadtfriedhof, in the same cemetery as Walther Nernst, Wilhelm Weber, Max von Laue, Max Planck, and David Hilbert.

Max Born accepts an invitation by C. V. Raman to come to Bangalore at the Indian Institute of Science.

In 1914, Max Born is invited by Max Planck to take the extraordinary professorship of theoretical physics that has been recently created at the University of Berlin. The chair has been offered to Von Laue previously, but von Laue has declined, while Born accepts and goes to Berlin in 1915.

Max Born spends a summer semester at Heidelberg University.

Max Born continues his studies at the University of Göttingen. He studies mainly mathematics under some of the major mathematicians of the period, including Klein, Hilbert, Minkowski, and Runge. He also studies astronomy under Schwarzschild, and physics under Voigt. He is awarded the Prize of the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Göttingen for his work on the stability of elastic wires and tapes in 1906. A year later he passes the oral exams and earns a PhD in mathematics.

Max Born makes his second travel to the USA for the winter semester to give lectures at the MIT. There, Born delivers 30 lectures introducing the recent advancements of quantum mechanics in the USA. Born gives also lectures at Chicago University, at the University of Wisconsin, at the University of California at Berkeley, at CalTech, and at Columbia University. At the MIT, Born develops with N. Wiener a general operator calculus that can be applied to discrete as well as the continuous case.

Max Born makes his first travel to the United States where he gives lectures on SRT at the University of Chicago.

Max Born works at Breslau University under the supervision of the physicists Lummer and Pringsheim. He hopes to receive the Habilitation in physics. An accident involving Born's blackbody experiment leads Lummer to tell Born that he will never become a physicist. He also studies and works on Einstein's special theory of relativity, but discovers that Minkowski has just completed a similar work. However, he sends his paper to Minkowski.

Like many other Jewish scientists, Max Born is forced to leave Germany after the Nazi Party takes the power in 1933. Born obtains a tenure-track position at St. John College, Cambridge, UK, as Stokes Lecturer. His main sphere of work during this period is nonlinear electrodynamics, which Born develops in collaboration with Infeld.

Max Born comes back to Germany to spend his retirement years in Bad Pyrmont.

Max Born is admitted to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and studies physics for six months at the Cavendish Laboratory under J.J. Thomson, George Searle and Joseph Larmor.

Max Born is appointed Tait Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh as a successor of C. G. Darwin. There, Born works until his retirement in 1953 at the age of 70. In Edinburgh, Born promotes the study of mathematical physics. He receives a Certificate of Naturalisation as a British subject on 31 August 1939, the day before the outbreak of World War II.

While at Göttingen, Max Born recognises that the new theory proposed by Heisenberg corresponds to the matrix calculus. In 1926, with Heisenberg and Jordan, Born develops the matrix mechanics. Their joint paper is the beginning of quantum mechanics. In a subsequent paper, Born puts forward a statistical interpretation of the quantum calculus concerning the scattering of particles. The works on quantum mechanics of this period are among the main motivations of his Nobel Prize many years later.

Max Born is drafted into the German army, and posted to the 2nd Guards Dragoons "Empress Alexandra of Russia", which is stationed in Berlin. His service is brief, as he is discharged early after an asthma attack in January 1907.

Max Born marries Hedwig (Hedi) Ehrenberg at a Garden ceremony in Göttingen.

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