53 Facts About Max Born


Max Born made contributions to solid-state physics and optics and supervised the work of a number of notable physicists in the 1920s and 1930s.


Max Born entered the University of Gottingen in 1904, where he met the three renowned mathematicians Felix Klein, David Hilbert, and Hermann Minkowski.


Max Born wrote his PhD thesis on the subject of "Stability of Elastica in a Plane and Space", winning the university's Philosophy Faculty Prize.


In 1921, Max Born returned to Gottingen, arranging another chair for his long-time friend and colleague James Franck.


Under Max Born, Gottingen became one of the world's foremost centres for physics.


In January 1933, the Nazi Party came to power in Germany, and Max Born, who was Jewish, was suspended from his professorship at the University of Gottingen.


Max Born 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.


Max Born became a naturalised British subject on 31 August 1939, one day before World War II broke out in Europe.


Max Born retired to Bad Pyrmont, in West Germany, and died in a hospital in Gottingen on 5 January 1970.


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 in the German Empire, to a family of Jewish descent.


Max Born 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 nee Kauffmann, from a Silesian family of industrialists.


Max Born died when Max was four years old, on 29 August 1886.


Max Born attended a seminar conducted by Klein and professors of applied mathematics, Carl Runge and Ludwig Prandtl, on the subject of elasticity.


Max Born responded by turning down the offer, as applied mathematics was not his preferred area of study.


Klein had the power to make or break academic careers, so Max Born felt compelled to atone by submitting an entry for the prize.


On 13 June 1906, the rector announced that Max Born had won the prize.


On graduation, Max Born was obliged to perform his military service, which he had deferred while a student.


Max Born found himself drafted into the German army, and posted to the 2nd Guards Dragoons "Empress Alexandra of Russia", which was stationed in Berlin.


Max Born's service was brief, as he was discharged early after an asthma attack in January 1907.


Max Born 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 JJ Thomson, George Searle and Joseph Larmor.


Max Born then returned to Breslau, where he worked under the supervision of Otto Lummer and Ernst Pringsheim, hoping to do his habilitation in physics.


Max Born was devastated to discover that Minkowski was researching special relativity along the same lines, but when he wrote to Minkowski about his results, Minkowski asked him to return to Gottingen and do his habilitation there.


The mathematics students had Max Born speak on their behalf at the funeral.


Max Born did not get far before he was publicly challenged by Klein and Max Abraham, who rejected relativity, forcing him to terminate the lecture.


Max Born subsequently published his talk as an article on "The Theory of the Rigid Electron in the Kinematics of the Principle of Relativity", which introduced the concept of Max Born rigidity.


Max Born settled in as a young academic at Gottingen as a privatdozent.


In 1912, Max Born met Hedwig Ehrenberg, the daughter of a Leipzig University law professor, and a friend of Carl Runge's daughter Iris.


Max Born 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 Kathe.


Max Born regarded "religious professions and churches as a matter of no importance".


In 1914, received a letter from Max Born Planck explaining that a new professor extraordinarius chair of theoretical physics had been created at the University of Berlin.


In Berlin, Max Born formed a lifelong friendship with Einstein, who became a frequent visitor to Max Born's home.


Max Born arranged with Born and the faculties concerned for them to exchange jobs.


In 1919 and 1920, Max Born became displeased about the large number of objections against Einstein's relativity, and gave speeches in the winter of 1919 in support of Einstein.


Max Born received pay for his relativity speeches which helped with expenses through the year of rapid inflation.


When Max 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 Breslau University.


Gustav Mie had used them in a paper on electrodynamics in 1912, and Max Born had used them in his work on the lattices theory of crystals in 1921.


Max Born was surprised to discover that Paul Dirac had been thinking along the same lines as Heisenberg.


Max Born would have none of this, as it ran counter to facts determined by experiment.


Max Born accepted an offer from St John's College, Cambridge.


Max 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 Max Born family had their German citizenship revoked, rendering them stateless.


Max Born considered an offer from Pyotr Kapitsa in Moscow, and started taking Russian lessons from Rudolf Peierls's Russian-born wife Genia.


Max Born had two German assistants, E Walter Kellermann and Klaus Fuchs, and one Scottish assistant, Robert Schlapp, and together they continued to investigate the mysterious behaviour of electrons.


Max Born became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1937, and of the Royal Society of London in March 1939.


Max Born received his certificate of naturalisation as a British subject on 31 August 1939, one day before the Second World War broke out in Europe.


Max Born remained at Edinburgh until he reached the retirement age of 70 in 1952.


Max Born retired to Bad Pyrmont, in West Germany, in 1954.


Max Born died at age 87 in hospital in Gottingen 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.


Max Born's wife Hedwig Martha Ehrenberg was a daughter of the jurist Victor Ehrenberg and Elise von Jhering.


Max Born was survived by his wife Hedi and their children Irene, Gritli and Gustav.


Singer Olivia Newton-John was a daughter of Irene, while Gustav is the father of musician and academic Georgina Born and actor Max Born who are thus Max's grandchildren.


Max Born's great-grandchildren include songwriter Brett Goldsmith, singer Tottie Goldsmith, racing car driver Emerson Newton-John, and singer Chloe Rose Lattanzi.


Max Born helped his nephew, architect, Otto Konigsberger obtain commission in the Mysore State.