Pathways of Discovery

One Hundred Years of Quantum Physics

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Science  11 Aug 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5481, pp. 893-898
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5481.893

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This year marks the 100th anniversary of Max Planck's creation of the quantum concept, an idea so revolutionary that it took nearly 30 years for scientists to develop it into the theory that has transformed the way scientists view reality. In this month's essay, Daniel Kleppner and Roman Jackiw recount how quantum theory, which they rate as "the most precisely tested and most successful theory in the history of science," came to be, how it changed the world, and how it might continue to evolve to make the dream of ultimate understanding of the universe come true.