Google Doodle honours German physicist Max Born

Google Doodle honours German physicist Max Born

The Google Doodle on Monday celebrated the 135th birth anniversary of German physicist and mathematician Max Born who was awarded the Nobel Prize for his contribution to the field of quantum mechanics.

An atom is the smallest unit of matter and quantum mechanics studies matter at this incredibly granular level, leading to the invention of personal computers, lasers, and medical imaging devices (MRI), among other game-changing technologies.

He was born and raised in what is now Wroclaw, Poland. At the time the physicist was born, on December 11, 1882, the place was known as Breslau and it was part of Germany.

Born earned his Ph.D. at Gottingen University where he later became a professor of theoretical physics, collaborating with and mentoring some of the most famous scientists of the time.

As a result of laws enacted by the Nazi Party, he had 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 Gottingen.

Born was first nominated for the Nobel Prize by none other than Albert Einstein.

Born was awarded the coveted prize in 1954 “for for his fundamental research in quantum mechanics, especially for his statistical interpretation of the wavefunction”.

He is best known for the Born Rule — a quantum theory that uses mathematical probability to predict the location of wave particles in a quantum system.

Previous theories proposed that wave equations were exact measurements, involving cumbersome physical measurement experiments.

Born discovered that matrices or “arrays of numbers by rows and columns” could yield a similar result, relying on predictions of probability.

“This revolutionary theory now provides the basis for practically all quantum physics predictions,” Google said.

He died in Goettingen on January 5, 1970.

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