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The End of the Certain World: The Life and Science of Max Born.

THE END OF THE CERTAIN WORLD: The Life and Science of Max Born

NANCY THORNDIKE GREENSPAN

Physicist Max Born was both a committed pacifist and a teacher to several of the men who built the first atomic bomb. He was also a Nobel laureate and the leading shepherd of quantum theory and the uncertainty principle. This book, the first biography of Born, tells of the physicist's formative years, including compulsory service as a weapons researcher in World War I Germany, and his subsequent commitment to pacifism. Like many Jewish-German scientists of the early 20th century, Born grew up in the face of anti-Semitism and departed Germany after being fired from a university under Adolph Hitler's orders. Born was a success as a physicist, but his record as an educator is even more impressive. He taught nine Nobel prize winners, including Werner Heisenberg, Enrico Fermi, Otto Stern, Wolfgang Pauli, Paul Dirac, and Maria Goeppert-Mayer. Born was a lifelong friend of Albert Einstein, and the two sparred for most of their lives over the veracity of quantum physics. Their 40 years of debate on the matter was settled in 1954, when Born was awarded the Nobel prize for his lifelong work in that field. Author Greenspan, better known for her books on child psychology, was introduced to this topic by Born's granddaughter, the pop singer Olivia Newton-John. This book will appeal to anyone interested in the golden age of physics, as Born was one of its most influential figures. Basic Books, 2005, 374 p., b&w photos, hardcover, $26.95
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Title Annotation:Books: a selection of new and notable books of scientific interest
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Mar 19, 2005
Words:258
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