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Max Born

Geburtstag: 11. Dezember 1882
Todesdatum: 5. Januar 1970
Andere Namen: మాక్స్ బార్న్

Max Born war ein deutscher Mathematiker und Physiker. Für grundlegende Beiträge zur Quantenmechanik wurde er 1954 mit dem Nobelpreis für Physik ausgezeichnet.

Photo: Unknown author / Public domain

Werk

„Die Quanten sind doch eine hoffnungslose Schweinerei!“

—  Max Born

Albert Einstein und Max Born: Briefwechsel 1916 bis 1955, Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1969, S. 34

„Ein materieller Stab ist physikalisch nicht ein räumliches Ding, sondern durchaus ein raum-zeitliches Gebilde.“

—  Max Born, buch Die Relativitätstheorie Einsteins

über die Relativitätstheorie, "Die Relativitätstheorie Einsteins", Springer 1969, ISBN 3-540-04540-6, S. 218

„I believe there is no philosophical high-road in science, with epistemological signposts. No, we are in a jungle and find our way by trial and error, building our road behind us as we proceed.“

—  Max Born

Experiment and Theory in Physics (1943), p. 44
Kontext: I believe there is no philosophical high-road in science, with epistemological signposts. No, we are in a jungle and find our way by trial and error, building our road behind us as we proceed. We do not find signposts at crossroads, but our own scouts erect them, to help the rest.

„It has taught us new methods of thinking (complementarity), which are applicable far beyond physics.“

—  Max Born

Statement of 1963, as quoted in Schrodinger : Life and Thought (1992) by Walter J. Moore, p. 1
Kontext: I am now convinced that theoretical physics is actually philosophy. It has revolutionized fundamental concepts, e. g., about space and time (relativity), about causality (quantum theory), and about substance and matter (atomistics). It has taught us new methods of thinking (complementarity), which are applicable far beyond physics.

„I am now convinced that theoretical physics is actually philosophy.“

—  Max Born

Statement of 1963, as quoted in Schrodinger : Life and Thought (1992) by Walter J. Moore, p. 1
Kontext: I am now convinced that theoretical physics is actually philosophy. It has revolutionized fundamental concepts, e. g., about space and time (relativity), about causality (quantum theory), and about substance and matter (atomistics). It has taught us new methods of thinking (complementarity), which are applicable far beyond physics.

„Every object that we perceive appears in innumerable aspects. The concept of the object is the invariant of all these aspects.“

—  Max Born

The close of his Nobel lecture: "The Statistical Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics" (11 December 1954) http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1954/born-lecture.html
Kontext: Can we call something with which the concepts of position and motion cannot be associated in the usual way, a thing, or a particle? And if not, what is the reality which our theory has been invented to describe?
The answer to this is no longer physics, but philosophy. … Here I will only say that I am emphatically in favour of the retention of the particle idea. Naturally, it is necessary to redefine what is meant. For this, well-developed concepts are available which appear in mathematics under the name of invariants in transformations. Every object that we perceive appears in innumerable aspects. The concept of the object is the invariant of all these aspects. From this point of view, the present universally used system of concepts in which particles and waves appear simultaneously, can be completely justified. The latest research on nuclei and elementary particles has led us, however, to limits beyond which this system of concepts itself does not appear to suffice. The lesson to be learned from what I have told of the origin of quantum mechanics is that probable refinements of mathematical methods will not suffice to produce a satisfactory theory, but that somewhere in our doctrine is hidden a concept, unjustified by experience, which we must eliminate to open up the road.

„The lesson to be learned from what I have told of the origin of quantum mechanics is that probable refinements of mathematical methods will not suffice to produce a satisfactory theory, but that somewhere in our doctrine is hidden a concept, unjustified by experience, which we must eliminate to open up the road.“

—  Max Born

The close of his Nobel lecture: "The Statistical Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics" (11 December 1954) http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1954/born-lecture.html
Kontext: Can we call something with which the concepts of position and motion cannot be associated in the usual way, a thing, or a particle? And if not, what is the reality which our theory has been invented to describe?
The answer to this is no longer physics, but philosophy. … Here I will only say that I am emphatically in favour of the retention of the particle idea. Naturally, it is necessary to redefine what is meant. For this, well-developed concepts are available which appear in mathematics under the name of invariants in transformations. Every object that we perceive appears in innumerable aspects. The concept of the object is the invariant of all these aspects. From this point of view, the present universally used system of concepts in which particles and waves appear simultaneously, can be completely justified. The latest research on nuclei and elementary particles has led us, however, to limits beyond which this system of concepts itself does not appear to suffice. The lesson to be learned from what I have told of the origin of quantum mechanics is that probable refinements of mathematical methods will not suffice to produce a satisfactory theory, but that somewhere in our doctrine is hidden a concept, unjustified by experience, which we must eliminate to open up the road.

„What can we scientists do in this conflict? We can join the spiritual, religious, philosophical forces, which reject war on ethical grounds. We can even attack the ideological foundations of the conflict itself. For science is not only the basis of technology but also the material for a sound philosophy.“

—  Max Born

Physics in my generation (1956)
Kontext: America has grown by expansion in a practical vacuum; the pioneers of the West had to overcome terrific natural obstacles, but negligible human resistance. The Russia of today had to conquer not only natural but human difficulties: she had to break up the rotten system of the Czars and to assimilate backward Asiatic tribes; now she has set herself the task of bringing her brand of modernization to the ancient civilizations of the Far East. For this purpose it is indispensable to have a well-defined doctrine full of slogans, which appeals to the needs and instincts of the poverty-stricken masses. Thus one understands the power which Marx's philosophy has gained in the East.
What can we scientists do in this conflict? We can join the spiritual, religious, philosophical forces, which reject war on ethical grounds. We can even attack the ideological foundations of the conflict itself. For science is not only the basis of technology but also the material for a sound philosophy.

„The scientist's urge to investigate, like the faith of the devout or the inspiration of the artist, is an expression of mankind's longing for something fixed, something at rest in the universal whirl: God, Beauty, Truth.“

—  Max Born

Conclusion
Physics in my generation (1956)
Kontext: The scientist's urge to investigate, like the faith of the devout or the inspiration of the artist, is an expression of mankind's longing for something fixed, something at rest in the universal whirl: God, Beauty, Truth.
Truth is what the scientist aims at. He finds nothing at rest, nothing enduring, in the universe. Not everything is knowable, still less predictable. But the mind of man is capable of grasping and understanding at least a part of Creation; amid the flight of phenomena stands the immutable pole of law.

„The dance of atoms, electrons and nuclei, which in all its fury is subject to God's eternal laws, has been entangled with“

—  Max Born

From the Postcrip to 'The restless universe' (1951), pp. 225-226
Physics in my generation (1956)
Kontext: The dance of atoms, electrons and nuclei, which in all its fury is subject to God's eternal laws, has been entangled with another restless Universe which may well be the Devil's: the human struggle for power and domination, which eventually becomes history. My optimistic enthusiasm about the disinterested search for truth has been severely shaken. I wonder at my simplemindedness when I re-read what I said on the modern fulfilment of the alchemists dream: "Now however, the motive is not the lust for gold, cloaked by the mystery of magic arts, but the scientists' pure curiosity. For it is clear from the beginning that we may not expect wealth too." Gold means power, power to rule and to have a big share in the riches of this world. Modern alchemy is even a short-cut to this end, it provides power directly; a power to dominate and to threaten and hurt on a scale never heard of before. And this power we have actually seen displayed in ruthless acts of warfare, in the devastation of whole cities and the destruction of their population.

„Can we call something with which the concepts of position and motion cannot be associated in the usual way, a thing, or a particle? And if not, what is the reality which our theory has been invented to describe?
The answer to this is no longer physics, but philosophy.“

—  Max Born

The close of his Nobel lecture: "The Statistical Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics" (11 December 1954) http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1954/born-lecture.html
Kontext: Can we call something with which the concepts of position and motion cannot be associated in the usual way, a thing, or a particle? And if not, what is the reality which our theory has been invented to describe?
The answer to this is no longer physics, but philosophy. … Here I will only say that I am emphatically in favour of the retention of the particle idea. Naturally, it is necessary to redefine what is meant. For this, well-developed concepts are available which appear in mathematics under the name of invariants in transformations. Every object that we perceive appears in innumerable aspects. The concept of the object is the invariant of all these aspects. From this point of view, the present universally used system of concepts in which particles and waves appear simultaneously, can be completely justified. The latest research on nuclei and elementary particles has led us, however, to limits beyond which this system of concepts itself does not appear to suffice. The lesson to be learned from what I have told of the origin of quantum mechanics is that probable refinements of mathematical methods will not suffice to produce a satisfactory theory, but that somewhere in our doctrine is hidden a concept, unjustified by experience, which we must eliminate to open up the road.

„Naturally, it is necessary to redefine what is meant.“

—  Max Born

The close of his Nobel lecture: "The Statistical Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics" (11 December 1954) http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1954/born-lecture.html
Kontext: Can we call something with which the concepts of position and motion cannot be associated in the usual way, a thing, or a particle? And if not, what is the reality which our theory has been invented to describe?
The answer to this is no longer physics, but philosophy. … Here I will only say that I am emphatically in favour of the retention of the particle idea. Naturally, it is necessary to redefine what is meant. For this, well-developed concepts are available which appear in mathematics under the name of invariants in transformations. Every object that we perceive appears in innumerable aspects. The concept of the object is the invariant of all these aspects. From this point of view, the present universally used system of concepts in which particles and waves appear simultaneously, can be completely justified. The latest research on nuclei and elementary particles has led us, however, to limits beyond which this system of concepts itself does not appear to suffice. The lesson to be learned from what I have told of the origin of quantum mechanics is that probable refinements of mathematical methods will not suffice to produce a satisfactory theory, but that somewhere in our doctrine is hidden a concept, unjustified by experience, which we must eliminate to open up the road.

„There are metaphysical problems, which cannot be disposed of by declaring them meaningless.“

—  Max Born

Quelle: Natural Philosophy of Cause and Chance (1964), p. 209
Kontext: There are metaphysical problems, which cannot be disposed of by declaring them meaningless. For, as I have repeatedly said, they are "beyond physics" indeed and demand an act of faith. We have to accept this fact to be honest. There are two objectionable types of believers: those who believe the incredible and those who believe that "belief" must be discarded and replaced by "the scientific method."

„There are two objectionable types of believers: those who believe the incredible and those who believe that "belief" must be discarded and replaced by "the scientific method."“

—  Max Born

Quelle: Natural Philosophy of Cause and Chance (1964), p. 209
Kontext: There are metaphysical problems, which cannot be disposed of by declaring them meaningless. For, as I have repeatedly said, they are "beyond physics" indeed and demand an act of faith. We have to accept this fact to be honest. There are two objectionable types of believers: those who believe the incredible and those who believe that "belief" must be discarded and replaced by "the scientific method."

„The belief that there is only one truth and that oneself is in possession of it, seems to me the deepest root of all that is evil in the world.“

—  Max Born

Variants (these could be paraphrases or differing translations): The belief that there is only one truth and that oneself is in possession of it seems to me the deepest root of all evil that is in the world.
The belief that there is only one truth, and that oneself is in possession of it, is the root of all evil in the world.
Quelle: Natural Philosophy of Cause and Chance (1964), p. 230, also in My Life and Views (1968), p. 183

„The continuity of our science has not been affected by all these turbulent happenings, as the older theories have always been included as limiting cases in the new ones.“

—  Max Born

As quoted in Beyond Positivism and Relativism : Theory, Method, and Evidence (1996) by Larry Laudan, p. 259

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