Plaque tribute for physics pioneer

A leading physicist has been honoured with a commemorative plaque.

The tribute recognises the achievements of Max Born, Nobel Laureate and former Tait Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University.

The plaque, by Historic Environment Scotland, has been unveiled by the University Principal at Born's former home at 84 Grange Loan, close to the science campus at King's Buildings.

Physics pioneer

Max Born was born and raised in Breslau, Germany, which later became Wroclaw, Poland.

He was appointed to the chair in Physics at the University of Gottingen and transformed this into one of the foremost centres for physics in the world, but had to leave in 1933 amid political change and unrest.

After working briefly at the University of Cambridge, Born came to Edinburgh in 1936. He stayed until his retirement in 1952.

The Professor promoted the teaching of mathematical physics while researching the behaviour of electrons.


In this short video, Max Born's grandson Sebastian explains the significance of the time spent by his Grandfather in Edinburgh.

Quantum mechanics

He is recognised as one of the founders of the field of quantum mechanics, which relates to physics at the very small scale of atoms and their constituents.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1954 for fundamental research in quantum mechanics.

He died in Goettingen on 5 January 1970.

Max Born made a huge impact on the field of physics throughout his career and it is extremely pleasing that he chose to spend much of his time at Edinburgh. His legacy continues to inspire our students and staff today.

Professor Arthur TrewSchool of Physics and Astronomy