TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®  •  TODAYINSCI ®
Celebrating 24 Years on the Web
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “I believe that this Nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index P > Max Planck Quotes > Truth

Thumbnail of Max Planck (source)
Max Planck
(23 Apr 1858 - 4 Oct 1947)

German theoretical physicist who introduced the quantum theory (1900), for which he was awarded the 1918 Nobel Prize for Physics. This assumes that energy is not infinitely subdivisible, but ultimately exists as discrete amounts he called quanta.


Max Planck Quotes on Truth (8 quotes)

>> Click for 71 Science Quotes by Max Planck

>> Click for Max Planck Quotes on | Absolute | Knowledge | Law | Nature | Research | Science | Thought |

Eine neue wissenschaftliche Wahrheit pflegt sich nicht in der Weise durchzusetzen, daß ihre Gegner überzeugt werden und sich als belehrt erklären, sondern vielmehr dadurch, daß ihre Gegner allmählich aussterben und daß die heranwachsende Generation von vornherein mit der Wahrheit vertraut gemacht ist.
A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
— Max Planck
In Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers, trans. F. Gaynor (1950), 33. Also seen paraphrased in shortened form as: Die Wahrheit triumphiert nie, ihre Gegner sterben nur aus. (Translated as “Truth never triumphs—its opponents just die out.” More loosely paraphrased as “Science advances one funeral at a time.”)
Science quotes on:  |  Eventually (64)  |  Generation (256)  |  Grow (247)  |  Light (635)  |  Making (300)  |  New (1273)  |  Opponent (23)  |  Opposition (49)  |  Scientific (955)  |  Scientific Truth (23)  |  See (1094)  |  Triumph (76)  |  Truth (1109)

It is not the possession of truth, but the success which attends the seeking after it, that enriches the seeker and brings happiness to him.
— Max Planck
In Max Planck and James Vincent Murphy (trans.), Where is Science Going?, (1932), 200.
Science quotes on:  |  Attend (67)  |  Enrichment (7)  |  Happiness (126)  |  Possession (68)  |  Seeker (8)  |  Seeking (31)  |  Success (327)  |  Truth (1109)

Modern Physics impresses us particularly with the truth of the old doctrine which teaches that there are realities existing apart from our sense-perceptions, and that there are problems and conflicts where these realities are of greater value for us than the richest treasures of the world of experience.
— Max Planck
In The Universe in the Light of Modern Physics (1931), 107.
Science quotes on:  |  Conflict (77)  |  Doctrine (81)  |  Exist (458)  |  Experience (494)  |  Greater (288)  |  Impress (66)  |  Modern (402)  |  Modern Physics (23)  |  Old (499)  |  Particularly (21)  |  Perception (97)  |  Physic (515)  |  Physics (564)  |  Problem (731)  |  Quantum Mechanics (47)  |  Reality (274)  |  Rich (66)  |  Sense (785)  |  Teach (299)  |  Treasure (59)  |  Truth (1109)  |  Value (393)  |  World (1850)

Science enhances the moral value of life, because it furthers a love of truth and reverence—love of truth displaying itself in the constant endeavor to arrive at a more exact knowledge of the world of mind and matter around us, and reverence, because every advance in knowledge brings us face to face with the mystery of our own being.
— Max Planck
In Max Planck and James Vincent Murphy (trans.), Where is Science Going?, (1932), 169.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (298)  |  Advancement (63)  |  Arrival (15)  |  Being (1276)  |  Constant (148)  |  Display (59)  |  Endeavor (74)  |  Enhance (17)  |  Exact (75)  |  Face (214)  |  Face To Face (4)  |  Further (6)  |  Knowledge (1647)  |  Life (1870)  |  Love (328)  |  Matter (821)  |  Mind (1377)  |  Moral (203)  |  More (2558)  |  Mystery (188)  |  Reverence (29)  |  Truth (1109)  |  Value (393)  |  World (1850)

The progress of science is an excellent illustration of the truth of the paradox that man must lose his soul before he can find it.
— Max Planck
In Max Planck and James Vincent Murphy (trans.), Where Is Science Going? (1932), 138.
Science quotes on:  |  Paradox (54)  |  Progress (492)  |  Research (753)  |  Soul (235)

The researcher might be tempted again and again to abandon his efforts as vain and fruitless, except that every now and then a light strikes across his path which furnishes him with irrefutable proof that, after all his mistakes in taking one by-path after another, he has at least made one step forward towards the discovery of the truth that he is seeking.
— Max Planck
From Nobel Prize acceptance speech (2 Jun 1920), as quoted and translated by James Murphy in 'Introduction: Max Planck: a Biographical Sketch' to Max Planck (trans.), Where is Science Going (1932), 24. This passage of Planck’s speech is translated very differently for the Nobel Committee. See elsewhere on this web page, beginning, “The whole strenuous…”.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (73)  |  Discovery (837)  |  Effort (243)  |  Fruitless (9)  |  In Vain (12)  |  Irrefutable (5)  |  Light (635)  |  Mistake (180)  |  Path (159)  |  Proof (304)  |  Researcher (36)  |  Seek (218)  |  Truth (1109)

The whole strenuous intellectual work of an industrious research worker would appear, after all, in vain and hopeless, if he were not occasionally through some striking facts to find that he had, at the end of all his criss-cross journeys, at last accomplished at least one step which was conclusively nearer the truth.
— Max Planck
Nobel Lecture (2 Jun 1920), in Nobel Lectures in Physics, 1901-1921 (1998), 407.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (102)  |  Appearance (145)  |  Conclusion (266)  |  End (603)  |  Fact (1257)  |  Facts (553)  |  Find (1014)  |  Hopeless (17)  |  In Vain (12)  |  Industrious (12)  |  Intellect (251)  |  Intellectual (258)  |  Journey (48)  |  Last (425)  |  Nearer (45)  |  Research (753)  |  Step (234)  |  Strenuous (5)  |  Striking (48)  |  Through (846)  |  Truth (1109)  |  Vain (86)  |  Whole (756)  |  Work (1402)

The whole strenuous intellectual work of an industrious research worker would appear, after all, in vain and hopeless, if he were not occasionally through some striking facts to find that he had, at the end of all his criss-cross journeys, at last accomplished at least one step which was conclusively nearer the truth.
— Max Planck
From Nobel Prize Lecture (2 Jun 1920), 'The Genesis and Present State of Development of the Quantum Theory', Nobel Lectures, Physics 1901-1921 (1967), and on the nobelprize.org web site. This passage of Planck’s speech is translated very differently by James Murphy in 'Introduction: Max Planck: a Biographical Sketch' in Max Planck and James Murphy (trans.), Where is Science Going (1932), 24. See elsewhere on this web page, beginning, “The researcher might…”.


See also:

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by:Albert EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Thank you for sharing.
- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton


by Ian Ellis
who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.