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Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck was born in Kiel, Germany, on April 23, 1858.
Planck studied at the Universities of Munich and Berlin, and received his doctorate of
philosophy at Munich in 1879. He was appointed professor of physics at the University
of Kiel in 1885, then filled the same position at the University of Berlin from 1889 unitl
1928, the year he retired. Afterwards he became President of the Kaiser Wilhelm
Society for the Promotion of Science, where he stayed until 1937.
Planck's earliest work was on the subject of thermodynamics, which led him
into the study of energy distribution. In 1900 Planck concluded that energy is radiated
in small, particular units, which he called quanta. Developing his quantum theory
further, he discovered a universal constant, which came to be known as Planck's
constant. Planck's law states that the energy of each quantum(E) is equal to the
frequency(v) of the radiation multiplied by the universal constant(h), or E=hv.
Planck's discoveries were the start of an entirely new field of physics, known as
quantum mechanics; a theory based on using the concept of the quantum unit to
describe the dynamic properties of subatomic particles and the interactions of matter
His original theory has since had extensive experimental verification, and the
growth of the quantum theory has brought about a essential change in the physicist's
concept of light and matter, both of which are now thought to combine the properties
of waves and particles. Planck's constant has become as important to the
investigation of particles of matter as to quanta of light, now called photons. The first
successful measurement of Planck's constant was made by the American physicist
Robert Millikan in 1916. The present value of the constant is h = 6.626 × 10-34
Planck received many honors for his work, notably the 1918 Nobel Prize in
physics. In 1930 Planck was elected president of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society for the
Advancement of Science, the leading association of German scientists, which was later
renamed the Max Planck Society. During World War II, Planck was forced out of
society in 1933 for critizing the Nazi regime that had come into power in Germany. He
became president again after World War II. Max Planck died in Gottingen, Germany,
on October 4th, 1947.
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Max Planck, Nobel laureates in Physics, Quantum mechanics, Deists, Quantum, Planck constant, Plancks law, Introduction to quantum mechanics, Photon, Mathematical formulation of quantum mechanics, Ultraviolet catastrophe, Planck postulate
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