(April 23, 1858 – October 4, 1947)

Notably savvy, Max Planck is among 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 mavens of his era struggled to discern the underlying concepts. Even the great Albert Einstein rejected some aspects of it: and ended-up losing the ensuing argument to Niels Bohr at the home of Paul Ehrenfest in December 1925. Thus far, in 21st century, (more than a century after Planck propounded his theory), no scientist can honestly claim to fully understand what Quantum Physics entails. Leading researchers such as Max Born, Erwin Schroedinger, Werner Heisenberg, Satyendra Nath Bose, Wolfgang Pauli, Paul Dirac and Pascual Jordan have achieved fame and won accolades, (including Nobel Prizes), just by advancing a small aspect of what Planck originated. He is also credited with enhancing our knowledge regarding 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 in 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 illustrious students. In addition to Planck’s constant, Planck units, and Max Planck Medal, he is the eponym of the 39-kilometer-wide Planckia asteroid and the 319-kilometer-wide Planck lunar crater.

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