Wednesday, June 14, 2023

How Max Born got a Nobel Prize

New paper, also here:
Rovelli, Carlo and Heilbron, John (2023) Matrix Mechanics Mis-Prized: Max Born's Belated Nobelization. [Preprint]

We examine evaluations of the contributions of Matrix Mechanics and Max Born to the formulation of quantum mechanics from Heisenberg's Helgoland paper of 1925 to Born's Nobel Prize of 1954. We point out that the process of evaluation is continuing in the light of recent interpretations of the theory that deemphasize the importance of the wave function.

Their main argument is that Born should have gotten a Nobel Prize in the 1930s, along with Heisenberg, Schroedinger, and Dirac. He got one much later for the probabilistic interpretation, but quantum mechanics was already using probability and Born's comment did not add much.

I am not sure, but it is an interesting account of the early history of quantum mechanics.

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