Latest Max Planck Stories
By Little, Joseph This article examines the role of the liquid drop analogy in George Gamow's theory of nuclear structure and his subsequent derivation of nuclear energy.
A hundred years ago, we took the first steps in recognising, at the level of elementary physical events, the dual character of nature that had been postulated in natural philosophy. Albert Einstein was the first who saw Max Planckâ€™s quantum hypothesis leading to this dual character. Einstein suggested the photon have an electromagnetic wave character, although photons had previously been considered as particles. That was the quintessence of his work on the photoelectric effect. Later...
How does a flower know when to, well, flower? For one thing, it isn't just April showers that do the trick. After all, some forsythia burst forth in early spring, roses enjoy the summertime and there are types of rice that flower in the fall.
In 1921 Einstein won the Nobel Prize not for his work on relativity, but for solving a puzzle that had baffled scientists since 1887 -- the photoelectric effect. In one of the three ground-breaking papers he published in 1905 he explained it in one astonishing blow: the light is quantized. His work was the first step in launching quantum theory.
In 1905, at the age of 26 and four years before he was able to get a job as a professor of physics, Einstein published five of the most important papers in the history of science -- all written in his "spare time." His ideas, we're told, were improbably far ahead of other scientists. He must have come from some other planet--maybe the same one Newton grew up on.
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