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Max Planck, originator of quantum theory, tormented by war and personal loss

New biography illuminates personal struggles of physics pioneer

By
9:00am, June 13, 2015
Max Planck

INCONSTANT PLANCK  A biography by physicist Brandon Brown illuminates the personal struggles of the physics pioneer Max Planck.

Planck
Brandon R. Brown
Oxford Univ., $29.95

Scientists are products of their times and their culture. Some see beyond those constraints. Some are trapped within them. Max Planck was trapped, as physicist Brandon Brown relates, and therefore could not escape from the turmoil of Germany’s wars.

In an unusual approach to a scientific biography, each chapter heading of Planck selects a month during the final four years in the life of the scientist, who died in 1947 at age 89. His story is told through

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