GHDI logo
German History in Documents and Images
return to system

Max Born, Physicist (c. 1930)
Max Born (1882-1970) was a physicist and mathematician whose work was instrumental in the development of quantum mechanics. A life-long friend of Albert Einstein, he worked with many of the greatest physicists of the 20th century. In 1926, he formulated the Born Rule (or Born’s Law), a fundamental contribution to theoretical physics that was widely recognized as such at the time. It took nearly three decades, however, for his achievement to be recognized by the Nobel Prize committee, which finally awarded him the prize for physics in 1954. Born was principally associated with the University of Göttingen, but in 1933 was deprived of his chair and forced to leave Germany. In 1936, he became a professor of theoretical physics at the University of Edinburgh, where he would remain until his retirement. He returned to Germany in 1954 and became outspoken about the dangers of nuclear proliferation. He was one of the eleven signatories of the 1955 Russell-Einstein Manifesto, which would result in the first Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs.