Today it was supposed to be about famous Kielers. Since I didn’t want to write another big article with an endless list, I limited myself to my personal favourite, Max Planck. Why Max Planck and not, for example, Angelique Kerber, Gerhard Delling or Heide Simonis? Although these people are famous and have a connection to Kiel, they were not born there, as is often wrongly assumed. Born in Kiel are:
– Heike Henkel: Olympic gold medallist in the high jump
– Alexander Pommes: television presenter
– Gerhard Stoltenberg: former Federal Minister for Scientific Research
– Axel Milberg: actor, in particular Tatort Commissioner Borowski in Kiel’s Tatort
My favourite is still Max Planck, because Germany has produced 87 Nobel Prize winners. Seven of them had a connection to Kiel University. Only one of them was born in Kiel, and his name was Max Planck.
(Fun fact: The only Nobel Prize winner to die in Kiel was Otto Diels, who was born in Hamburg).
Max Planck is honoured in the Ratsdienergarten and near his childhood home in Kütterstrasse. As the text on the memorial plaques is sometimes difficult to read, I will reproduce it below:
Max Planck 1858 – 1947
Physicist, born in Kiel, received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1919. 1885 to 1889 Professor of Theoretical Physics in Kiel. 1947 honorary citizen of the city of Kiel
The great researcher and thinker Max Planck worked as Professor of Theoretical Physics in Kiel from 1885 – 1889, later in Berlin. In 1900, he discovered Planck’s law of radiation and the elementary quantum of action h. With it, he founded modern physics. He thus founded the newer atomic research and the world view of modern physics. His life was full of high honours and difficult destinies.
Note: Max Planck’s first wife and all of his 4 children died in succession
Whoever is granted the privilege of contributing to the development of exact science will find satisfaction and happiness in the knowledge that he has explored the explorable and quietly worships the unexplorable.
Note: End of lecture on “The Sense and Limits of Exact Science” given in Berlin in 1941.
h= 6.62 * 10^-27 erg sec
He was born on 23 April 1858 in Kiel at Küterstrasse 17 and died on 4 Oct. 1947 in Göttingen.
Note: Erg is a unit for energy, just like the more commonly used unit joule. Converted h= 6,63 * 10^-34 J/s
Max Planck is considered the founder of quantum physics. His name is internationally known, even if only a few people know that he was born in Kiel.