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Max Planck and Einstein

  1. Aug 19, 2010 #1
    In the PBS documentary on Einstein's E=MC^2, the story makes it seem as if Planck called on Einstein in response to Einstein's paper on E=MC^2 which was published in 1905.

    But Einstein wrote an earlier paper on the photoelectric effect and the quantization of energy, also in 1905. Was it for this reason that Planck requested to meet with Einstein, instead of E=MC^2?

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 19, 2010 #2


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    As far as I know, Planck immediately acknoledged Einstein's early papers on the (special) theory of relativity. That was the reason why he tried to persuade him to come back to Germany as early as 1907. Finally, Einstein agreed to come in 1914 when he's been offered a job as a director of the Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute for Theoretical Physics which was a post without teaching obligations.

    However, Planck never liked the idea of light quanta. For him it was an "act of desperation" to introduce them in explaining the black-body radiation spectrum. Since his own discovery he tried to find an explanation from classical electromagnetics rather than the quantum theory. He even said that Einstein's paper on the light quanta (which earned Einstein his Nobel prize in physics) is too revolutionary but that one has to excuse it due to Einstein's young age :-).
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