Max Born

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Max Born (11 December 1882 – 5 January 1970) was a German born 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 30s. Born won the 1954 Nobel Prize in Physics (shared with Walther Bothe).


Early life and education

Max was born on December 11, 1882 in Breslau (now Wrocław, Poland), which at Born's birth was in the Prussian Province of Silesia in the German Empire. He was one of two children born to Gustav Born, (b. 22 April 1850, Kempen, d. 6 July 1900, Breslau), an anatomist and embryologist, and Margarethe ('Gretchen') Kauffmann (b. 22 January 1856, Tannhausen, d. 29 August 1886, Breslau), from a Silesian family of industrialists.

Gustav and Gretchen married on 7 May 1881. She died when Max was just four years old, on 29 August 1886.

Max had a sister Käthe (b. 5 March 1884), and a half-brother Wolfgang (b. 21 October 1892) from his father's second marriage (m. 13 September 1891) with Bertha Lipstein.

Initially educated at the König-Wilhelm-Gymnasium, Born went on to study at the University of Breslau followed by Heidelberg University and the University of Zurich. During study for his Ph.D.[1] and Habilitation [2] at the University of Göttingen, he came into contact with many prominent scientists and mathematicians including Klein, Hilbert, Minkowski, Runge, Schwarzschild, and Voigt. In 1908-1909 he studied at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

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