Max Plank Biography

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Max Plank

Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Plank was born on April 23, 1858. Plank was born in Kiel, Shleswig, but spent most of his childhood in Munich. Him and his family moved there the spring of 1867 when he was nine years old. Max's family included his mother, Emma Patzig, and his father, Johann JuliusWilhelm von Plank. Both of his parents were very intelligent. His father was a professor of law at Kiel and both his grandfather and great-grandfather were professors of theology at Gottingen. Max's very well lived life ended in Gottingen, West Germany on October 4, 1947.

Plank's educational background included the Munich's Konigliche Maimilian-Gymnasium. He enrolled there when he first moved to Munich. He became interested in mathematics. He graduated from the Gymnasium when he was 16 years of age and then went to different colleges. The University of Munich is where he pursued his mathmatics in October of 1874. Here he was told that nothing else was to be found in the physics field, though his interest grew much more.

His first year at Muncih he became ill and missed two years of schooling. In the winter of 1877 he enrolled int the University of Berlin, he pursued theoretical physics here. Plank yearned to study the nature of the universe, theoretical physics allowed him to achive that goal. In Berlin, Plank studies with Hermann von Hemholtz, Gustav Kirchoff, and Rudolf Clausius. Cluasius was the gifted of the three professsors, but the other two were the able physicists. Max graduated summa cum laude in 1879, then returned to Munich and recieved his doctorate.

From there Plank taught mathematics and physics for a short period at his secondary school in Munich until 1885. In 1885 Plank was offered a chair position in Kiel, and that posittion for four years. Later, he replaced his former professor, Kurchoff, and held that postion for 38 years until his retirement in 1927.

In 1930 Plank was president of the Kaiser Wilhelm Gesselllschaft, German research oraganization, until 1937. He stayed in Germany through World War II, and resumed his presidency at Kaiser from 1945 until 1946. It was very difficult times for Plank during WWII, his son, Erwin, was executed for planning to assassinate Hitler. The next October Plank passed on.

Max Plank achieved in physics, philosophy, and religion. His discovery in 1900 that light consists of infintesimal "quanta." His quantum theory replaced the classical physics with new modern quantum physics. Thus, Plank recieved the Nobel Prize in Physic for 1918, but also took part in many other Nobel events. Though Plank invented the quantum theory he did not understand it at first, and the theory was resisted. Niels Bohr's successful work by calculating postions of spectral lines using the new theory, allowed it to be accepted in 1913.

Max Plank lived a very respected life. He was a very intellegent mathematician-scientist. Plank was awarded for his intellegence and he very well deserved it.

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