Winner of the History of Science Society's Watson Davis Prize for the Public Understanding of Science. In this moving and eloquent portrait, John Heilbron describes how the founder of quantum theory rose to the pinnacle of German science. With great understanding, he shows how Max Planck suffered morally and intellectually as his lifelong habit of service to his country and to physics was confronted by the realities of World War I and the brutalities of the Third Reich. In an afterword written for this edition, he weighs the recurring questions among historians and scientists about the costs to others, and to Planck himself, of the painful choices he faced in attempting to build an "ark" to carry science and scientists through the storms of Nazism.
The Dilemmas of an Upright Man is a reissue of the life of Max Planck...Hollywood would title it Triumph and Tragedy. Planck's quantum theory transformed physics, but his career period was rocked by two world wars. He stayed in Nazi Germany throughout...Although he could have escaped, he wouldn't leave. Some contemporaries found his obduracy hard to understand.
<:st>Reprint of Heilbron's classic biography of Planck, his quantum theory, and political positions in World War I and World War II with a new 12-page . The original is distinguished by inclusion in Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
J. L. Heilbron, formerly Professor of History and the Vice Chancellor at the University of California at Berkeley, is a Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford. He was awarded the George Sarton Medal by the History of Science Society in 1993 for his contributions to the field.