Max Planck

(1858-1947)By Lacee M.


“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”

-Max Planck

Planck's Life

Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck was born in Kiel Germany on April 23. Growing up, he had 6 brothers and sisters, and he was the youngest. His father was a jurist and professor of law at the University of Kiel. Because Plank's father was a professor at University of Kiel, Plank became interested in physics and mathematics. Planck graduated at the age of 17. He finally picked a career for physics rather than music or classical philogy. In 1874 Planck entered the University of Munich. Planck was deeply impressed by the law of conservation of energy and he became convinced that the second law of thermodynamics was an absolute law of nature. Max Planck made many contributions to theoretical physics and attained his fame by his role as originator of the quantum theory. This theory changed our understanding of atomic and subatomic processes, it is one of the fundamental theories of 20th-century physics, and has led to industrial and military applications that affect every aspect of modern life. It wasn't until years later by the work of such scientists like Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr, that the far-reaching consequences of Planck's achievement would be validated. The ultimate achievement arrived in 1918 when Planck was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics. Planck had a alot of tragedies after the age of 50. Planck's first wife had died in 1909, Planck's oldest son Karl died in 1916, his daughter Margaret died in 1917, another daughter Emma died in 1919, and another son Erwin died a horrible death in 1945. Planck, his second wife and his son by her, moved to Göttingen where he died on October 4, 1947.

Planck's Awards

The Max Planck dautsche mark coin


In 1867 Planck's family moved to Munich, and he enrolled in Maximilans gymnasium school. There he met Hermann Muller, a mathematician, who taught Planck astronomy and mechanics as well as mathematics. It was Muller who first taught Planck the principle of conservation of energy. Planck graduated at 17. He began studying physics in 1874 at the University of Munich. In 1877 Planck went to Berlin, for a year, to study physics with Herman von Helmhotz, Gustav Kirchhoff, and the mathematician Karl Weierstrass.

Contributions to Science

Max Planck discovered the Quantum theory and black body radiation.



He was an excellent pianist and found great pleasure in playing, having the gift of absolute pitch. Another passion of his was hiking, mountain climbing and taking long walks as regularly as possible. Max Planck was a gifted when it came to music. He took singing lessons and played piano, organ, and cello, and composed songs and operas. If Max hadn't studied physics he would have studied music.

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

See this link:

This is the website for Max Planck's institute.