ERNST LUDWIG PLANCK
Survey of Physical Theory.
long as Natural Philosophy exists, its ultimate highest aim
will always be the correlating of various physical observations
into a unified system, and, where possible, into a
"Nature prefers more probable to less
probable states, . . . Heat flows from a body of high
temperature to a body of lower temperature, because the state of
equal temperature is more probable than a state of unequal
distribution of temperature."1b
"The measure of the value of a new
hypothesis in physics is not its obviousness but its
"The chief law of physics, the
pinnacle of the whole system is, in my opinion, the
principle of least action . . . "1d
"In all cases, the quantum
hypothesis has given rise to the idea, that in Nature, changes
occur which are not continuous, but of an explosive nature."1e
"Self-determination is given to us
by our consciousness and is not limited by any causal law . . .
. . . Leibniz's theorem . . . sets
forth fundamentally that of all the worlds that may be created,
the actual world is that which contains, besides the
unavoidable evil, the maximum good."1g
"Since Galileo's time, physics has
achieved its greatest success by rejecting all teleological
. . .
[T]he second law
of thermodynamics appears solely as a law of probability,
entropy as a measure of the probability, and the
increase of entropy is equivalent to a statement that more
probable events follow less probable ones."1i
. . .
general a natural law is, the simpler is its form
(though it cannot always be said with certainty and finality which
is the simplest form) . . . "1j
Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck, Germany. The Nobel
Prize in Physics 1918, "in
recognition of the services he rendered to the advancement of
Physics by his discovery of energy quanta."
Italics in the original.
Max Planck. A Survey of
Physical Theory. Translated by R. Jones and D.H.
Williams. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 1993. Originally
published under the title A
Survey of Physics by Methuen & Co., Ltd., London, in
a The Unity of the Physical Universe, at
Ibid., at 15.
The Place of Modern Physics in the Mechanical
View of Nature, at 39.
New Paths of Physical Knowledge, at 51.
Dynamical Laws and Statistical Laws, at 68.
The Principle of Least Action, at 71.
The Relation Between Physical Theories, at 86.