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Planck: Driven by Vision, Broken by War - Brandon R. Brown
Planck: Driven by Vision, Broken by War
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4.40 25
Planck's Law, an equation used by physicists to determine the radiation leaking from any object in the universe, was described by Albert Einstein as "the basis of all twentieth-century physics." Max Planck is credited with being the father of quantum theory, and his work laid the foundation for... show more
Planck's Law, an equation used by physicists to determine the radiation leaking from any object in the universe, was described by Albert Einstein as "the basis of all twentieth-century physics." Max Planck is credited with being the father of quantum theory, and his work laid the foundation for our modern understanding of matter and energetic processes. But Planck's story is not well known, especially in the United States. A German physicist working during the first half of the twentieth century, his library, personal journals, notebooks, and letters were all destroyed with his home in World War II. What remains, other than his contributions to science, are handwritten letters in German shorthand, and tributes from other scientists of the time, including his close friend Albert Einstein.In Planck: Driven by Vision, Broken by War, Brandon R. Brown interweaves the voices and writings of Planck, his family, and his contemporaries-with many passages appearing in English for the first time-to create a portrait of a groundbreaking physicist working in the midst of war. Planck spent much of his adult life grappling with the identity crisis of being an influential German with ideas that ran counter to his government. During the later part of his life, he survived bombings and battlefields, surgeries and blood transfusions, all the while performing his influential work amidst a violent and crumbling Nazi bureaucracy. When his son was accused of treason related to a bombing, Planck tried to use his standing as a German "national treasure," and wrote direct letters to Hitler to spare his son's life. Brown tells the story of Planck's friendship with the far more outspoken Albert Einstein, and shows how his work fits within the explosion of technology and science that occurred during his life. The story of a brilliant man living in a dangerous time, Brandon Brown gives Max Planck his rightful place in the history of science, and shows how war-torn Germany deeply impacted his life and work.
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Format: hardcover
ISBN: 9780190219475 (0190219475)
ASIN: 0190219475
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pages no: 272
Edition language: English
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Community Reviews
Earl's Books and Such
Earl's Books and Such rated it
5.0 Planck: Brilliance Broken
In this biography of Max Planck, Brandon Brown weaves a spellbinding tale of both genius and naivete. Each chapter starts during the war, World War Two, then flashes back to an earlier period as a way of juxtaposing both Planck's drive (from his youth and middle age) and the process of being broken ...
Steeped in Science, Submersed in Story
Steeped in Science, Submersed in Story rated it
4.0 Planck: Driven by Vision, Broken by War
I got a copy of this from Net Galley.In summarizing what most of us know about Planck, Brown described my knowledge pretty accurately. I'm a physicist, so I know about his most famous scientific work. And that he had a moustache. That's about it. Most people don't even know that. But he led a f...
ReadingBifrost
ReadingBifrost rated it
4.0 Book Review: Planck: Driven by Vision, Broken by War by Brandon R. Brown
“He’d seen his colleagues, including Lise, driven from the Fatherland. He’d seen the ever-advancing thresher of new laws, first limiting, then persecuting, then gathering Jews along with other Nazi targets. He must have known of the inhuman trains, even if he didn’t know their destination.” Thi...
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