Entering on a career in academia


  The engaged couple Marie Merck and Max Planck, Kiel 1886.
  One year after taking his doctorate, Max Planck submitted his habilitation thesis and thus entered the ranks of university teachers at the early age of 22. His lectureship was unpaid, however, so there was little change in his circumstances. He guiltily continued to live with his parents in Munich and "be a financial drain on them". To put an end to this unsatisfactory situation as soon as possible he had to make a name for himself in science to prove his merit as a candidate for any available professorship.

Max Planck worked as a private lecturer of physics for five years at the University of Munich. Then he accepted an appointment to the University of Kiel for the summer semester of 1885: as associate professor (Extraordinariat) of theoretical physics. Planck stayed in his native city for four years, during which he continued to further his scientific reputation.

The professorship offered him an annual salary of 2000 reichsmarks. For the 27-year old, the precondition for considering founding his own household. On 31 March 1887 his marriage to Marie Merck (1861-1909) was announced-a girlfriend of his youth and daughter of a banker in Munich.

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  "Students like to attend his courses very much and he knows how to inspire them."
From a personal reference, 1885

Max Planck, 1901