Max Planck

(201 words)
  • Editors

Max Planck was the son of a distinguished professor of law in Kiel, Germany. He studied at the University of Munich and taught both there and in Berlin until the end of his career. He was one of the earliest physicists to study radiation -- in his case the energy emitted by hot black bodies -- and in this domain he was to discover that the production and absorption of energy occurred in small finite amounts ("quanta") not in a infinitely changing gradation as required by classical (Newtonian) mechanics. It was Planck's calculation of the value of this quantum (1900-1901) that would lead Niels Bohr to realise that it related to regular and predictable changes of state at the sub-atomic level (such as the movement of an orbiting …

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Editors. "Max Planck". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 October 2000
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]