The Mathematical Center of the Universe
The inception of quantum mechanics can essentially be traced back to a single “Golden Age” in the mid-1920s at one university: the Georg-August University of Göttingen, in the city of Göttingen, Germany. Home to many notable scientists, the university is associated with no less than 45 Nobel Prize winners. Included in this group are many of the figures responsible for the creation of quantum mechanics, such as Max Born, Werner Heisenberg, James Franck, Wolfgang Pauli, Eugene Winer, Paul Dirac, Enrico Fermi and J. Robert Oppenheimer.
At the outset of the 19th century however, the University of Göttingen was first and foremost considered a prime research institution for mathematics, a status it would hold until the “Great Purge” of 1933 forced many of its most talented academics to flee Germany for institutions in England and the United States.
This week’s newsletter is about the mathematical center of the universe prior to World War II, the University of Göttingen.
Prior to the 19t…