(April 23, 1858 – October 4, 1947)

Max Planck was one of the most astute scientists of his generation. His Quantum Theory was not just revolutionary. It opened a whole new avenue for our understanding of both the atomic and the subatomic worlds. Hence, it is no surprise that some of the greatest boffins of his era struggled to understand the basic concepts of it. Even the supposedly brilliant Albert Einstein rejected it at first. But Planck was undeterred. He had seen what others did not. And thus far, in this 21st century, (over a century after he propounded his theory), no scientist living or dead could honestly claim to understand up to 50% of what Quantum Physics entails. Great researchers such as Max Born, Erwin Schroedinger, Werner Heisenberg, Satyendra Nath Bose, Wolfgang Pauli, Paul Dirac, Pascual Jordan, and many others, have gained fame and won accolades, (including Nobel Prizes), just by advancing a small portion of what Max Planck originated. He is also credited with advancing our knowledge of how objects emit and absorb radiations. His support for, as well as contributions to Albert Einstein’s Relativity Theory, enabled it gain acceptance in Germany and the wider world. Planck’s other works pertained to optics, entropy, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. Like his compatriots Karl Weierstrass and David Hilbert, he was an early supporter of women’s tertiary education. Lise Meitner is among his most famous students. And he is the eponym of the Planck’s constant, the Planck units, the Planck crater on the moon and the 1069 Planckia asteroid.

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