Today’s Google Doodle represents a homage for a German mathematician and physicist, Max Born. He is well-known for discovering one of the most important principles of quantum mechanics, so Google decided to celebrate his 135th birthday accordingly.
Max Born formulated one of the most important principles in quantum mechanics
Max Born discovered the rule which now bears his name. This principle is based on probabilities, which are used for the prediction of a particle’s location in a quantum system. Knowing this information is vital for the understanding of quantum mechanics, or the behavior of particles at a subatomic level.
Before Born theorized this rule, physicists thought the process of finding a particle’s location was more complicated. They assumed they could find it out only by performing precise calculations, and by measuring it directly at the subatomic scale. However, Born thought this was complicated and useless.
The location of these particles can easily be predicted by applying the rules of probability. To do it, researchers only needed a series of numbers arranged in columns and rows, which is also known as a matrix. This method links both theory and experiment in a mathematical way, and can give rise to all the predictions typical for quantum physics.
He received a Nobel Prize in Physics
Born is also known for several other principles and theories, and for collaborating with other scientists. With Fritz Haber, he devised the Born-Haber cycle, used for the calculation of the energy necessary to form a crystal from ions. He also formulated the Born-Oppenheimer approximation, saying that the movement of nuclei and electrons in an atom can easily be separated.
In 1954, Born was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his great achievements in the field of quantum mechanics. He was forced to leave Germany during the Nazi period, since he was a Jew. He fled his home country and went to England, but he could return home in 1954.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons