Tuesday, June 10, 2008

max at 150

a belated happy 150th birthday to the reluctant founder of quantum mechanics, Max Planck. In fact, his name has been so ubiquitous in the 60 years since his death, that we (or I at least) used to take him for granted and never think much about him. He used to be on the 2DM coins when I grew up (and back then, 2 DM was a lot of money ! :) and there were high schools in his name all over the place, not to mention the Max Planck Society which runs prestigious research institutes, and his prominent role in physics textbooks.

However, looking up his Wikipedia entry today, I realised I knew nothing about his life (and haven't got a biography of him, either). For instance, I didn't know that one of his sons was executed in the context of the 20. July 1944 assassination attempt on Hitler (of which, incidentally the "last survivor" died recently).

Anyways, here is the great man, reduced to the size of a postage stamp:


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