The physicist Max Planck struggles to save his son from Adolf Hitler in the opening chapter of the biography Planck: Driven by Vision, Broken by War. As he navigates the madness of crumbling Nazi Germany, each chapter opens a window to his fascinating past, from a childhood of candlelight, through visionary work in physics, to the poignant tragedies of his later life.
Interweaving the voices and writings of Planck, his family, and his contemporaries -- with many passages appearing in English for the first time -- physicist Brandon R. Brown seeks to understand Planck the thinker and human being. The nineteenth century forged Planck and his approach to science, before the twentieth century unraveled both.
Planck: Driven by Vision, Broken by War (Oxford University Press, 2015) won a Housatonic Award for nonfiction and critics have called it "history of science at its best."