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The German physicist Max Planck (1858-1947) is known as the father of quantum theory and his name adorns scores of institutes, endowments and now a scientific mission probing the universe's initial conditions. But one finds little in the English language concerning his other scientific work and his non-research life, full of influence and tragedy in equal measure. Utilizing an array of primary and secondary sources in both English and German, I provide a more complete look at the historical Max Planck, including his many interactions with other notable scientists (e.g. Albert Einstein) as well as world figures (e.g. Adolf Hitler).
Brandon Brown is Professor of Physics at the University of San Francisco, San Francisco CA. He received his Ph.D. degree in Physics from Oregon State University in 1997, and his B.S. in Physics from Rice University. His thesis work in high temperature superconductivity led him to work in sensory biophysics. He has a long-standing interest in science communication, and has recently authored "Planck: driven by vision, broken by war", published by Oxford University Press (2015)