Google regularly celebrates scientists with its innovative Doodles. Today's Google Doodle honors German physicist and mathematician Max Born (1882-1970) on what would have been his 135th birthday. The drawing of Born in professorial attire, surrounded by formulas, was made by guest illustrator Kati Szilagyi.
Born earned the 1954 Nobel Prize in physics, awarded "for his fundamental research in quantum mechanics, especially for his statistical interpretation of the wave function." Quantum mechanics is a branch of physics that examines matter at the atom level, and has helped lead to the inventions of the personal computer and other technological devices.
He devised the Born Rule, a quantum theory that "uses mathematical probability to predict the location of wave particles in a quantum system," according to Google's report. "Previous theories proposed that wave equations were exact measurements, involving cumbersome physical measurement experiments." His game-changing theory now serves as the basis for all predictions in quantum physics.
He is also known for connecting physics with philosophy, famously saying, "I am now convinced that theoretical physics is actually philosophy," as well as, "It is true that many scientists are not philosophically minded and have hitherto shown much skill and ingenuity but little wisdom."
Born earned his PhD at Göttingen University in Germany, where he taught theoretical physics and worked with some of the most well-known scientists at the time. He was Jewish and fled Nazi Germany for England in 1933. There, he worked as the Tait Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh for almost two decades until he retired in 1954.