This Day In Astro History

Max Planck
Max Planck
(1858 - 1947)

April 23

1967 - Soyuz 1 (Union 1) launch  carrying cosmonaut Colonel Vladimir Komarov.  The plan involved  a rendezvous with Soyuz 2, swapping crew members before returning to Earth. During the spacecraft's return to Earth it crashed, killing Komarov and becoming the first in-flight fatality in the history of spaceflight. 

1858 - Max Planck's birthday, pioneer quantum physicist. The Planck equation describes the amount of light energy  emitted by a "blackbody" as a function of its temperature (on an absolute scale) and the wavelength (or frequency) of  emission. Blackbodies are perfect absorbers of light and approximate stars over a wide range of conditions. 

Plank's earliest work was on the subject of thermodynamics.  He published papers on entropy, on thermoelectricity and on the theory of dilute solutions. In a paper published in 1900, he announced  that the energy emitted by a resonator could only take on discrete values or quanta. The energy for a resonator of frequency v is hv where h is a universal constant, now called Planck's constant.  He was revered by his colleagues, particularly by Albert Einstein, not only for the importance of his discoveries but for his great personal qualities. He was a gifted pianist. He was married twice, but three of his children died young, leaving him with two sons. He suffered a personal tragedy when one of them was executed for his part in an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Hitler in 1944. He died at Göttingen on October 3, 1947.


Soyuz 1 Mission Patch
Soyuz 1 Mission patch  
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It is my conclusion that human evolution and the motions of matter in space are intrinsically linked. The observation and understanding of the complexity of biological history on Earth cannot be complete without the tandem observation and understanding of a dynamic greater cosmos. - SpaceGene