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Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck (1858 - 1947) a German physicist who is
considered to be the inventor of quantum theory.
Born on April 23, 1858 in Kiel, Planck started his physics studies at
Mnchen university in 1874, graduating in 1879 in Berlin. He returned to
Mnchen in 1880 to teach at the university, and moved to Kiel in 1885. There
he married Marie Merck in 1886. In 1889, he moved to Berlin, where from 1892
on he held the chair of theoretical physics.
In 1899, he discovered a new fundamental constant, which is
named Planck's constant, and is, for example, used to calculate the energy
of a photon. One year later, he discovered the law of heat radiation, which
is named Planck's Law of Radiation. This law became the basis of quantum
theory, which emerged ten years later in cooperation with Albert Einstein
and Niels Bohr.
From 1905 to 1909, Planck acted as the head of the Deutsche Physikalische
Gesellschaft (German Physical Society). His wife died in 1909, and only one
year later he married Marga von Hoesslin. In 1913, he became head of Berlin
university. For the foundation of quantum physics, he was awarded the 1918
Nobel Prize in Physics. From 1930 to 1937, Planck was head of the
Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft zur Frderung der Wissenschaften (KWG,
Emperor-Wilhelm-Society for the advancement of science).
During World War II, Planck tried to convince Hitler to spare Jewish
scientists. Planck's son Erwin was executed on July 20, 1944, for treason in
connection with an attempted assassination of Hitler. After Max Planck's
death on October 4, 1947 in Gttingen, the KWG was renamed as the
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Frderung der Wissenschaften (MPG).