American Institute of Physics (AIP)

AIP is based at the University of Maryland, College Park. It began in 1931 as a direct response to the Great Depression.

April 24, 2017

Thanks again.
Quite heartwarming.

I am becoming somewhat of a Planck groupie.
Before discovering Einstein, he did his first rendition
of the Planck numbers (1899). Frank Wilczek (MIT)
takes credit (I wish I had a recording of our one-on-one)
that prior to his series of articles in 2001 in Physics Today,
(Climbing Mt. Planck),
the Planck units were essentially
numerology (like Dirac’s large numbers).

As a brain teaser, you might look at our horizontally-scrolled
chart of the Planck units extended using base-2 such that
Planck Time goes right up to the current Age of the Universe
in just over 202 notations.

It all started in a high school geometry class back in December 2011:

Properly interpreting those numbers is my primary challenge these days.
I would be glad to accept the logic that they are meaningless, but I have

found too much within them to ignore them on such skepticism!

Best wishes,

First email

Robert G. W. Brown, Chief Executive Officer
Re:  Thank you
First person interviews are so valuable. What a find!
Thank you, thank you.


Foster Cary Nix interviewed by Lillian Hoddeson

Foster Cary Nix on Max Planck:

Hoddeson: Did you get to hear him at all?

Nix:  Oh yes, I took lectures from Schrödinger. And Planck, I took his lectures — the last semester Planck lectured was my first year in Berlin.

Hoddeson:  On what subject?

Nix:  Mechanics. To give you some idea of how popular he was in Germany, he lectured to a class, I should think, with 150 or 200 pupils. In mechanics — imagine this!

Hoddeson: What did mechanics mean at that time?

Nix: Oh, just classical mechanics. Planck was a man revered in Germany as I suppose that no other physicist ever experienced at all. He commanded the greatest respect in Germany; was an elegant lecturer. He was a really superb lecturer. He spoke beautiful German, and he had his lectures well organized. Now, Von Laue was also there, I took Von Laue’s lectures on X-rays — but he was a terrible lecturer. He chewed his words up. He was so bad; they wouldn’t let him be my examiner when I took my Ph.D. because they didn’t think I could understand him. My German’s much better than that, but anyway they were scared of it. So — the two you know of today, the three rather would be Schrödinger, Planck and Von Laue. Von Laue, I got to know him a lot better later. I got to know him over here. He’s of course dead, was killed in an automobile accident in about 1951 or somewhere along in that period, ‘52.

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