(Homonym: borne, bourn).
1. Being so through innate qualities; SYN. innate.
2. Brought into existence.
(1882-1970) German-born British physicist who received a Nobel Prize 1954 for fundamental work on the quantum theory, especially his 1926 discovery that the wave function of an electron is linked to the probability that the electron is to be found at any point.
In 1924 Born coined the term “quantum mechanics”. Born made Göttingen a leading center for theoretical physics and together with his students and collaborators—notably Werner Heisenberg—he devised 1925 a system called matrix mechanics that accounted mathematically for the position and momentum of the electron in the atom. He also devised a technique, called the Born approximation method, for computing the behavior of subatomic particles, which is of great use in high-energy physics.
Born was born in Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland) and studied at Breslau and Göttingen. He was professor of physics at Frankfurt-am-Main 1919–21 and at Göttingen 1921–33.
With the rise to power of the Nazis, Born left Germany for the UK, and in 1936 he became professor of natural philosophy at Edinburgh. In 1953 he retired to Germany.
Encouraged by German chemist Fritz Haber to study the lattice energies of crystals, Born was at Frankfurt able to determine the energies involved in lattice formation, from which the properties of crystals may be derived, and thus laid one of the foundations of solid-state physics.
Born was inspired by Danish physicist Niels Bohr to seek a mathematical explanation for Bohr's discovery that the quantum theory applies to the behavior of electrons in atoms. This led to matrix mechanics. But in 1926, Erwin Schrödinger expressed the same theory in terms of wave mechanics. Born used statistical probability to reconcile the two systems.