Max Planck

  • From:

    Berlin University | Berlin, Germany

  • Year:

    1927

  • Subject:

    Benjamin Franklin Medal: Physics

  • Award:

    Franklin

  • Citation:

    For his law of radiation and the idea of the fundamental indivisible quantity of radiant energy called the “quantum”.

Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck was born in Kiel, Germany, in 1858. Planck studied at the Universities of Munich and Berlin, and he received his doctoral degree at Munich in 1879. He was Privatdozent in Munich from 1880 to 1885, then Associate Professor of Theoretical Physics at Kiel until 1889, when he became Professor at Berlin University, where he remained until his retirement in 1926.

Planck is best known for being the originator of the quantum theory. This theory revolutionized our understanding of atomic and subatomic processes, it is one of the fundamental theories of 20th-century physics. His hypothesis that atoms emit and absorb energy in discreet bundles (that he called quanta) led to the development of quantum physics.

Planck received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1918 for his quantum theory after it had been successfully applied to the photoelectric effect by Einstein and the atom by Niels Bohr.

Information as of 1927