Biography Of Max Planck

Biography Of Max Planck


Max Planck (1858-1947) was a German physicist, who was known as the founder of Quantum Physics. He realized that light can be produced by particles (Quanta) instead of steady waves. This theory shattered many of the assumptions of classical physics and paved the way for a variety of future advancements related to Quantum Physics.

Max Planck was born in Kiel, Germany on 23 April 1858. He attended Munich as well as Berlin University as well as was acknowledged to be a prestigious student. But in Munich University, his professor Philipp von Jolly advised Planck against studying physics, citing:

“in this field, virtually all of the information is already available in this field, and all that is left is filling a couple of holes.”

But, Planck was content to grasp the fundamentals of physics. He was not looking to make discoveries.

Planck earned a doctorate in philosophical studies in the year 1879. He was appointed an instructor in theoretical Physics at Kiel between 1880 and 1889. He later moved to Berlin University where he succeeded his former professor Kirchoff.


Black-body radiation Quantum Theory


In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Planck was able to conduct research on thermodynamics and the issues of radiation. The most significant research he conducted was on what happens to the energy produced by the black body. The reason he conducted this research was that he was commissioned by electrical firms that were looking to get the most illumination with minimal energy.

A black body is an object that absorbs all light. His experiments demonstrated that the distribution of the wavelength of energy wasn’t constant as a function of temperature.

The energy required for resonance with the frequency V can be described as the HV.

E =hv

In the case of h, it is a universal constant (now known as Planck’s constant) that Plank accurately predicted to be within 2 percent of the widely accepted value. (6.626 10-34 J.)

Quanta is what physicists refer to as photons. They possess distinct and distinctive energy.


Biography Of Max Planck


The new theory of Planck was in direct opposition to classical physics which predicted the existence of a constant wavelength. At first, Planck himself doubted the scientific validity of his theory as he believed it was merely a mathematical explanation. Planck claimed the second thermodynamic law was

“an act of desperation …” in despair… willing to give up any of my prior beliefs regarding Physics.”

Planck was generally regarded as an orthodox physicist. However, the fact that he had the foresight to come up with such a radical theory, and that he was skeptical of his own beliefs, helped make it more credible. Despite his conservatism, Planck adhered to the facts and the facts he uncovered which enabled him to see things more clearly than the other physicists who attempted to connect the findings with their assumptions from classical theories.

“We are not entitled to suppose that physical laws are in place or if they have been in existence for a while and will remain similar shortly.”

Planck, The Universe in the light of Modern Physics (1931)

His research was summarized in two books: The Thermodynamics (Thermodynamics) (1897) and Theorie der Warmestrahlung (Theory of heat radiation) (1906).

Planck believed that his discoveries could affect the entire field of physics. But afterward, he realized that it simply led to a better understanding of the subatomic and atomic scale. He spoke of his revolutionary theories.

“…it was so out of sync with the conventional view of the universe presented through Physics that it ultimately ended the foundation of this earlier conception of the universe. It appeared for a while that a total collapse of the classical view of Physics was within the realm of possibility. slowly it was evident to be, as was assumed by everyone people who believed in constant advancement of science, that the development of the concept of Quantum Theory led not to the end of Physics however, it led to a rather fundamental restoration …” Planck (1931) The universe as seen through the lens of contemporary science and physics

Further studies in this area showed that Planck’s idea was correct. For instance, Albert Einstein’s explanation of the photoelectric phenomenon was based on the same quanta energy model. Planck was among the early scientists to recognize the significance of Einstein’s unique theory of relativity, which was published in 1905. Planck’s assistance was vital in helping Einstein’s theories receive broad acceptance throughout Germany as well as the rest of the world. Einstein and Planck became good friends, and Planck helped Einstein gain a professorship in Berlin in 1914.

Planck was given his Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918, in recognition of his contributions to quantum Physics. It was widely considered to be an award that was well-deserved however, given the circumstances during the First World War, it was more significant for showing that science transcended the boundaries of national borders.

In the twenty-first century, Stephen Hawking discovered that the most compact black hole could have a mass of one Planck mass unit

Planck quit his position at the University of Berlin in 1926 however he continued to be active because of his rising global recognition. He was elected president of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society for the Promotion of Science and in 1926, he was appointed to the foreign membership in the Royal Society.

Personal life

in 1887 Planck married Marie Merck and the couple moved into a residence in Kiel. There were four kids. Marie died in 1909. Planck married her sister Marga Von Hossain. they had a second child.

In the First World War, Planck was at first an enthusiastic fan of the war. The year 1914 was the first time he was a signatory to the Manifesto of Ninety-Three which was an intellectual endorsement of Germany’s war effort as well as the invading Belgium. (Einstein did not sign). Planck was later to revoke parts of the declaration. In 1916 the year he made a declaration in opposition to German expansionism. In the course of the conflict, the son Erwin was imprisoned in the hands of the French at the time of 1914. His oldest brother Karl was killed in combat during the battle of Verdun the year 1917. His two daughters Grete, as well as Emma both, died of childbirth within the space of two years. (1917 in 1919) He reacted to the personal tragedy with dignity.

Apart from his fame as a physicist, Planck was also an accomplished musician. He played the organ, and piano and even took singing lessons. In his early years, the young man was contemplating the possibility of a music career but decided to go into to pursue physics instead.

During Nazi rule between 1933 and 1945, Plank remained patriotic to Germany but was also disapproving of the behavior that was exhibited by Hitler in particular and of his Nazi regime. He was outraged by the treatment Jewish scientists were treating. Under his direction, his Kaiser Wilhelm Society avoided open confrontations with Nazis. Planck continued to hope that the Nazi regime would temper their behavior. In 1938, he quit the presidency after it was controlled by the Nazi regime. His position, his age, and international recognition gave him greater protection than his critics.

Planck was also a victim of personal suffering when his house was destroyed by the allies toward the end of the war. Despite the hardships of conflict, Planck was eager to strive to live and witness an international order emerge from the ashes of the Nazi regime. But his son Erwin was a part of the unsuccessful Hitler bomb plot in 1944 and was executed in the hands of the Gestapo in the early days of 1945. This was a tough pill for the typically stoic Planck.

Planck was a Lutheran Christian, and he took a liberal stance on other religions. He believed that, as a scientist, God was the key to which explained the origins of the universe and all matter. He was skeptical about some of the miracles linked to religion and believed that the fundamental tenets of religion were in line with scientific research to find the truth.

“Anybody who is engaged in research in any way realizes that on the outside of the scientific temple are the words: “You must believe. It’s a virtue that the scientist can’t escape.”

Where is Science Moving? (1932)

Planck was a lover of walking in The European mountains. He was fit to his old age and it was among his greatest pleasures in life.

He died in Gottingen on 4 October 1947.

Influence of Planck


While Planck did not play a direct role in the later advances in quantum mechanics Planck made the most significant breakthrough that provided a theoretical foundation for many discoveries that later arose from quantum physics as well as our understanding of subatomic and atomic processes. In this sense, Planck can be seen as an influential figure in the evolution of twentieth-century science and physics.

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