My Life: Recollections of a Nobel Laureate
By Max Born
Routledge – 1978 – 318 pages
In this collection of informal reminiscences, first published in 1975, Max Born has written an extraordinarily vivid account of his life and work, originally intended for his family.
Ranging from his time at the University of Göttingen, where Born had his first real motivation for a professional career in science, to the period in Berlin as professor extraordinary, when he and his wife became close friends of Einstein, these anecdotes and memories chart the "heroic age of physics" from the perspective of one of its leading characters. In 1954 Born was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for his fundamental contributions to the great discovery of that cadre of superlative scientific minds – quantum theory.
But his scientific research provides only one strand of this story. Born’s varied interests outside science led to many interesting experiences – some of historical importance insofar as they offer a glimpse into German society before and between the wars.
Preface Gustav Born The Scientific Work of Max Born Nevill Mott Part 1: The Good Old Days 1. Childhood 2. Schooling – My Father’s Second Marriage 3. High School 4. My Father’s Death – Breslau University 5. Heidelberg and Zurich – The Neisser House 6. Student in Göttingen 7. Doctoral Thesis and Graduation 8. Military Service 9. Cambridge 10. Breslau – Second Military Service – Experimental Physics 11. Göttingen Again – ‘Habilitation’ 12. Lecturer in Göttingen 13. Chicago – ‘El Bokarebo’ – Marriage 14. World War One 15. Professor Extra-Ordinarius in Berlin – the A.P.K. 16. End of the War – Revolution 17. Frankfurt am main 18. Professor Ordinarius in Göttingen 19. Quantum Mechanics Part 2: Tempestuous Years 1. ‘The ‘Heroic Age’ of Theoretical Physics 2. The Approach of the Nazis 3. Arrivals of the Nazis 4. Selva, Val Gardena 5. Cambridge 6. Bangalore 7. Edinburgh, The Department of Applied Mathematics. Postscript Gustav Born