# Quantum Gravity 317.8: Max Born, Physicist-Mathematician

*From*: OsherD <mdoctorow@xxxxxxxxx>*Date*: Sun, 29 Mar 2009 16:53:26 -0700 (PDT)

From Osher Doctorow

Max Born won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1954, having been delayed

from the 1933 or earlier awards by the need to flee Nazi Germany in

1933 because, although he was a Lutheran, his ancestry was partly

Jewish and the Nazis classified him as a result as Jewish.

The Born-Infeld Theory, which has been used in an important paper

which I discussed in this Section 317, is an illustration of the

incredible Genius of Max Born whose relationship to Quantum Mechanics

was similar to the relationship of Ricci and Levi-Civita to General

Relativity and other versions of Macroscopic physics and also similar

to the relationship of Paul Dirac to Quantum Theory - the Ingenious

use of Mathematics and Mathematical Insight combined with Physical

Insight.

Albert Einstein did not know what mathematics to use for his General

Theory of Relativity, and his friend Marcel Grossmann of Gottingen or

Heidelberg recommended to use the Tensor Analysis ("Absolute

Differential Calculus") of Ricci and (later) Levi-Civita. This made

a critical difference.

Similarly, Max Born introduced matrices and probability at a very

fundamental level into Quantum Theory although some people had done

some specialized important work in them before. His student

Heisenberg, as well as Schrodinger and Heisenberg and Einstein,

benefitted from matrices and/or probability, and Born's use of

Probability in Quantum Theory (in the somewhat misnamed "Statistical

Interpretation" of the wave function) earned him the Nobel Prize in

1954 (belatedly) as well as allowing the other physicists mentioned to

continue their research earlier when they were stumped. Technically,

Born's use of Probability should be called the "Probability

Interpretation," but Einstein and others confused somewhat the

Probability and Statistics part.

Readers will find 303 papers in arXiv under the keywords "Born-

Infeld", which have been increasing in number more or less for the

last few years (4 in 2009, which is only beginning, and an apparent

all-time yearly maximum of 27 in 2008), and 465 papers under the

keyword "Born" in arXiv.

Osher Doctorow

.

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