Max Born, the man featured in today's Google Doodle

NEW DELHI: Google has honoured German physicist and mathematician Max Born on his 135th birth anniversary with a doodle created by guest artist Kati Szilagyi. In the doodle, Born is seen writing using a pen that resembles the symbol psi, which is also the symbol for wave function in physics.

A pioneer in quantum mechanics, Born won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1954 for his "fundamental research in Quantum Mechanics, especially in the statistical interpretation of the wave function." He is well-known for his 'Born Rule,' a quantum theory that uses mathematical probability to predict the location of wave particles in a quantum system.

Born on this day in Breslau, in what was then in Germany but is now Poland, Born earned his PhD from the University of Göttingen in 1906. Inspired by Albert Einstien's research on special relativity, Born began his research on four-dimensional space-time along with Professor Hermann Minkowski. In a career spanning over four decades, Born collaborated with several mathematicians, researchers, and universities, including a brief stint in Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru along with Sir C.V. Raman.

During the Nazi rule, Born was rendered stateless since he was a Jew. He was forced to flee Germany for England, where he served as the Tait Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh for nearly two decades until his retirement in 1954 when he returned home to Göttingen.

The Born rule provides a link between the mathematical formalism of quantum theory and experiment, and as such is almost single-handedly responsible for practically all predictions of quantum physics, according to N.P. Landsman, Institute for Mathematics, Astrophysics, and Particle Physics, Radboud University Nijmegen.

Born, along with fellow German scientist Fritz Haber, formulated the Born-Haber cycle, that calculates lattice energy or the energy needed to form a crystal from infinitely-separated ions. His other notable works include Born-Oppenheimer approximation, the assumption that the motion of atomic nuclei and electrons in a molecule can be separated, and Born-von Karman boundary condition which imposes the restriction that a wave function must be periodic on a certain Bravais lattice.

Born moved to Göttingen in Germany in his last years and passed away on January 5, 1970.

 

 

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