Max Born (December 11, 1882 – January 5, 1970) was a German mathematician and physicist and was the only child of Gustav Born and Margarete Kauffmann. He is also the maternal grandfather of British-born Australian singer and actress Olivia Newton-John.
Initially educated at the König-Wilhelm-Gymnasium, Born went on to study at the University of Breslau followed by Heidelberg University and Zurich University. During this period he came into contact with many prominent scientists and mathematicians including Klein, Hilbert, Minkowski, Runge, Schwarzschild, and Voigt.
In 1909 he was appointed a lecturer at the University of Göttingen where he worked until 1912 when he moved to work at the University of Chicago. In 1919 after a period in the German army he became a professor at the University of Frankfurt am Main, and then professor at Göttingen, 1921. During this period, he formulated the now-standard interpretation of the probability density for ψ*ψ in the Schrödinger equation of quantum mechanics, for which he was awarded the Nobel prize, some three decades later. In 1933 due to the anti-Semitic government activity at the time he went to lecture at Cambridge University, til 1936 and Edinburgh University, til 1953.
Albert Einstein was a friend of Born's, and it was in a letter to him in 1926 that Einstein made his famous remark regarding quantum mechanics, often paraphrased as "God does not play dice with the universe."
After World War II, Max and Hedwig Born retired from England, to Germany, but his children remained in the Commonwealth.
His published works include Dynamics of Crystal Lattices, Optics, Natural Philosophy of Cause and Chance and Zur Quantummechanik. He was awarded the 1954 Nobel Prize in Physics, the Stokes Medal and the 1950 Hughes Medal. In Natural Philosophy of Cause and Chance, Born solves Kant's puzzle of the Ding an Sich, the thing in itself. See also: The Born-Einstein Letters.