Max Planck’s biography

Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck (April 23, 1858 – October 4, 1947). Better known as Max Planck was a Theoretical Scientist and Physicist of German origin, creator of Quantum Theory, a discovery that won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918.


Max Planck’s biography

Together with Albert Einstein, enactor of the Theory of Relativity, Max Panck is considered one of the most influential physicists of the 20th century, contributing his findings to the development of modern technology.

Early Life

Max Planck was born on 23 April 1858, in Kiel, Schlerwig, present-day Germany, the sixth child of Julius Wilhelm Planck, professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Kiel, married to Emma Parzig.

He began his primary education in Kiel. In 1867, he moved to Munich, with his family, following his father’s appointment as a professor at the University of Munich. Max continued his studies at the prestigious Maximiliano Gymnasium Institute, where he did not excel in any subject, despite being a good student. He played the piano very well, and at some point music was raised as a career.

However, a professor named Hermmann Muller managed to arouse In Planck interest in Physics and Metemetics. From that moment on, he had great admiration for the Energy Conservation Act.

The universities of Munich and Berlin

On 21 October 1874 he began his studies in Physics at the University of Munich, where he received classes from prestigious mathematicians such as Ludwig Seidel and physicists such as Philipp von Jolly.

In 1875, he became seriously ill, retiring from school, an opportunity he took to move to the University of Berlin, where he entered Helmholtz, Weierstrass and Krichhoff as professors, whom he admired for his great work published, and whose monotonous way of teaching nonetheless disappointed him.

He then devoted himself to the independent study, running into Rudolf Clausius’ studies on thermodynamics. Eventually, he returned to Munich, he received his doctorate in July 1879, presenting a thesis entitled On the Second Law on the Mechanical Theory of Heat.

For a year, he devoted himself to obtaining his qualification, which he achieved on June 14, 1880, after presenting his second degree work, this time on entropy and mechanical heat theory. He was appointed ad honorem as Privatdozent at the University of Munich.

Quantum Theory

Finally, on May 2, 1885, he was appointed Extraordinary Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Kiel, a post in which he would remain for four years. On 31 March 1887 he married Marie Merck.

It was at this time that he published his three works on the practical applications of thermoelectricity and physicochemistry, considered by the scientific community to be brilliant.

Two years later, on 29 November 1888, he was appointed as an extraordinary professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Berlin. That same year he assumed the leadership of the Institute of Theoretical Physics.

In 1892 he was promoted to ordinary professor, becoming part of the University, where he remained in charge of the chair until October 1927, activities that he shared with his passion for music, organizing numerous concerts in his house.

During these years he would complete his studies and most brilliant writings of his career. Planck devoted himself to studying Thermodynamics and energy distribution in relation to wavelength.

In 1900, Planck announced the discovery of its formula, known as Planck Radiation Formula. That same year, on December 14, at a hearing at the Physikalische Gesellschaft, Planck explained the importance of introducing quantum energy, forever changing Physics by enacting the non-absolute nature of the second Thermodynamics Act, assigning it a new statistical character, as promulgated by Boltzmann.

In 1918, his studies made him the Nobel Prize, which he received on June 2, 1920. Planck would lay the foundations for Quantum Theory, which would later be developed by Einstein, Poincaré, Niels Bohr and Paul Dirac, among others.

Personal life and recent years

Personally, his life was constantly marked by tragedies. On October 17, 1909, his wife died. In 1916, his son Karl was killed during World War I. In 1917, her daughter Mergaret, Emma’s twin, died of complications from childbirth.

Two years later, in 1919, her sister died for the same reasons. In 1945, his son Erwin, who over the years had become his companion and friend, was executed after pleading guilty to having been involved in an attack to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

In his career, he distinguished himself by the performance of administrative positions, among which his duties as Secretary of the Section of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, which he held for 31 years, from 1912 to 1943.

He was also elected as a member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences in 1894. Between 1905 and 1908 he was elected President of the German Physics Society, being appointed as an honorary member of this institution in 1927.

In life he witnessed the creation of the Max Planck Medal, of which he was the first winner. He belonged to the committee of the Committee of Kaiser Wilhelm Gesellschaft. Similarly, he witnessed the arrival of the Nazi government in Germany. He was one of the scientists who decided to stay.

Max Planck’s biography
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Bibliography ►

phoneia.com (July 28, 2019). Max Planck’s biography. Bogotá: E-Cultura Group. Recovered from https://phoneia.com/en/education/max-plancks-biography/