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Monday, August 6, 2018

Max Planck and metaphysics


Photo source: Wikimedia Commons, German Federal Archives

Photo license: CC BY-SA 3.0 DE


Max Planck (1858-1947) was a German physicist best known for his early contributions to quantum mechanics. Albert Einstein said,


"[Planck] showed convincingly that in addition to the atomistic structure of matter there is a kind of atomistic structure to energy, governed by the universal constant h, which was introduced by Planck. This discovery became the basis of all twentieth-century research in physics and has almost entirely conditioned its development ever since." (Max Planck in Memorium, 1948)


The rest of this post is some quotes from Planck.




"In other words, the fundamental principles and indispensable postulates of every genuinely productive science are not based on pure logic but rather on the metaphysical hypothesis - which no rules of logic can refute - that there exists an outer world which is entirely independent of ourselves." (Where is Science Going? The Universe in Light of Modern Physics, 1932)


"Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature and that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve." (Where is Science Going? 1932)


"No matter where and how far we look, nowhere do we find a contradiction between religion and natural science." (Religion and Natural Science, 1937)


"We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent spirit. This spirit is the matrix of all matter." (The Nature of Matter, 1944)


Scientific discovery


"New scientific ideas never spring from a communal body, however organized, but rather from the head of an individually inspired researcher who struggles with his problems in lonely thought and unites all this thought on one single point which is his whole world for the moment." (Address on the 25th anniversary of Kaiser-Wilhelm Gesellschaft, 1936)