Max Born

Max
Born
1882
1970

German Physicist and Mathematician, Nobel Prize on Sub-Atomic Particles in Physics

Author Quotes

And 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.

The scientific theory I like the best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline baggage.

To present a scientific subject in an attractive and stimulating manner is an artistic task, similar to that of a novelist or even a dramatic writer. The same holds for writing textbooks.

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.

Science has become an integral and most important part of our civilization, and scientific work means contributing to its development. Science in our technical age has social, economic, and political functions, and however remote one's own work is from technical application it is a link in the chain of actions and decisions which determine the fate of the human race.

It is odd to think that there is a word for something which, strictly speaking, does not exist, namely, 'rest'. We distinguish between living and dead matter; between moving bodies and bodies at rest. This is a primitive point of view. What seems dead, a stone or the proverbial 'door-nail', say, is actually forever in motion. We have merely become accustomed to judge by outward appearances; by the deceptive impressions we get through our senses

I have tried to read philosophers of all ages and have found many illuminating ideas but no steady progress toward deeper knowledge and understanding. Science, however, gives me the feeling of steady progress: I am convinced that theoretical physics is actual philosophy. It has revolutionized fundamental concepts, e.g., about space and time (relativity), about causality (quantum theory), and about substance and matter (atomistics), and it has taught us new methods of thinking (complementarity) which are applicable far beyond physics.

But in practical affairs, particularly in politics, men are needed who combine human experience and interest in human relations with a knowledge of science and technology. Moreover, they must be men of action and not contemplation.

All attempts to adapt our ethical code to our situation in the technological age have failed.

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.

The question of whether the waves are something 'real' or a function to describe and predict phenomena in a convenient way is a matter of taste. I personally like to regard a probability wave, even in 3N-dimensional space, as a real thing, certainly as more than a tool for mathematical calculations. ... Quite generally, how could we rely on probability predictions if by this notion we do not refer to something real and objective?

It is true that many scientists are not philosophically minded and have hitherto shown much skill and ingenuity but little wisdom.

No concealed parameters can be introduced with the help of which the indeterministic description could be transformed into a deterministic one. Hence if a future theory should be deterministic, it cannot be a modification of the present one but must be essentially different.

We need to make a world in which fewer children are born, and in which we take better care of them.

I believe that ideas such as absolute certitude, absolute exactness, final truth, etc. are figments of the imagination which should not be admissible in any field of science... This loosening of thinking seems to me to be the greatest blessing which modern science has given to us. For the belief in a single truth and in being the possessor thereof is the root cause of all evil in the world.

Intellect distinguishes between the possible and the impossible; reason distinguishes between the sensible and the senseless. Even the possible can be senseless.

If God has made the world a perfect mechanism, He has at least conceded so much to our imperfect intellect that in order to predict little parts of it, we need not solve innumerable differential equations, but can use dice with fair success.

I am now convinced that theoretical physics is actually philosophy.

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, is the root of all evil in the world.

The human race has today the means for annihilating itself - either in a fit of complete lunacy, in a big war, by a brief fit of destruction, or by careless handling of atomic technology, through a slow process of poisoning and of deterioration in its genetic structure.

Author Picture
First Name
Max
Last Name
Born
Birth Date
1882
Death Date
1970
Bio

German Physicist and Mathematician, Nobel Prize on Sub-Atomic Particles in Physics