Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Max Planck

23 April 1858, Kiel – 4 October 1947, Göttingen

Max Planck already spent a year in Berlin as an undergraduate student of physics in 1878/79, during which he heard Hermann von Helmholtz and Gustav Kirchhoff. Ten years later, in 1889, he was appointed associate professor of theoretical physics at Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität. Another three years later he was awarded the chair of theoretical physics. He was appointed Rector in 1913/14. He remained actively connected with the university for almost ten years after retiring with emeritus status in 1926.

Planck is considered the founder of quantum theory. He discovered that energy is released by a body not regularly, but in jumps, or quanta. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1918 for this quantum effect, which is named after him.

This outstanding physicist is honoured by a monument in the Cour d'Honneur in front of the west wing of the university's main building.