We are celebrating the 158th birthday of theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize winner Max Planck

Here at Philosophical Library, we are celebrating the 158th birthday of theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize winner Max Planck. Arriving into the world on April 23, 1858, Planck was born into an intellectual family who maintained careers practicing law as well as careers as professors of theology. Growing up, Planck studied astronomy, mechanics and mathematics which would lead to his understanding of the conservation of energy. Though musically inclined and having talent in playing the piano, organ and cello, his focus narrowed on physics while attending the University of Munich.

By 1877, Planck was enrolled in the Friedrich Wilhelms University in Berlin and spent the next year studying with noted physicists and mathematicians. It was here that he chose heat theory as his field of study. Upon completion of his habilitation thesis, Equilibrium States of Isotropic Bodies at Different Temperatures, he gave private lectures to individuals in Munich while waiting for an academic position. Years later in 1885, Planck was offered a position as associate professor of theoretical physics at the University of Kiel where he continued his work on entropy in physical chemistry. He went on to publish Treatise on Thermodynamics. Planck became a full-time professor at the university in 1892 and years later, in 1909, traveled to New York City to lecture on theoretical physics at Columbia University.

“Scientific discovery and scientific knowledge have been achieved only by those who have gone in pursuit of it without any practical purpose whatsoever in view.” – Max Planck

Max Planck dedicated years of his life to studying, hypothesizing and making conclusions in the world of science. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918 for his contributions to quantum theory, which transformed the way we understand atomic and subatomic processes. He continued to explore and write about physics and philosophy for the remainder of his life. Published after his death in 1947, Max Planck’s autobiography titled Scientific Autobiography shares the story of his life, his goals, and his thoughts and ideas. Planck intended for this work to be comprehensible to the general audience, and so he wrote the story of his life and scientific theories in a style the average reader would be able to process. Within these pages, Planck includes not only his scientific theories, but his thoughts on ethics, morals and his philosophical ideas as well. For any reader wishing to learn more about this accomplished physicist, Philosophical Library invites you to click here to obtain this title and begin or broaden your journey through the life of Max Planck.

“It is not the possession of truth, but the success which attends the seeking after it, that enriches the seeker and brings happiness to him.” – Max Planck

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