Max Planck


Max Planck won the 1918 Nobel Prize in physics "in recognition of the services he rendered to the advancement of Physics by his discovery of energy quanta.” Max Planck was studying blackbody radiation, or radiation emitted by a perfect emitter when it is heated. The emitted radiation is not related to the composition, just the temperature of the blackbody. He obtained unphysical results in his calculation unless he quantized the radiation, making it discrete. The radiation emitted was related to a constant, (today known as Planck’s constant). He found that the energy amounts could only be discrete values of E=hn, where E is the energy, h is Planck’s constant, and n is the frequency of radiation. From his work, quantum mechanics began.