Schrödinger: Life and Thought
Cambridge University Press, May 29, 1992 - Biography & Autobiography - 513 pages
Erwin Schrödinger was a brilliant and charming Austrian, a great scientist, and a man with a passionate interest in people and ideas. In this, the first comprehensive biography of Schrödinger, Walter Moore draws upon recollections of Schrödinger's friends, family and colleagues, and on contemporary records, letters and diaries. Schrödinger's life is portrayed against the backdrop of Europe at a time of change and unrest. His best-known scientific work was the discovery of wave mechanics, for which he was awarded the Nobel prize in 1933. However, Erwin was also an enthusiastic explorer of the ideas of Hindu mysticism, and in the mountains of his beloved Tyrol he sought a philosophic unity of Mind and Nature. Although not Jewish, he left his prestigious position at Berlin University as soon as the Nazis seized power. After a short time in Oxford he moved to Graz, but barely escaped from Austria after the Anschluss. He then helped Eamon de Valera establish an Institute for Advanced Studies in Dublin. It was here that he spent the happiest years of his life, and also where he wrote his most famous and influential book What is Life?, which attracted some of the brightest minds of his generation into molecular biology. Schrodinger enjoyed a close friendship with Einstein, and the two maintained a prolific correspondence all their lives. Schrödinger led a very intense life, both in his scientific research and in his personal life. Walter Moore has written a highly readable biography of this fascinating and complex man which will appeal not only to scientists but to anyone interested in the history of our times, and in the life and thought of one of the great men of twentieth-century science.
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Page 4 - But that was wrong. It is always wrong to explain the phenomena of a country simply by the character of its inhabitants. For the inhabitant of a country has at least nine characters : a professional one, a national one, a civic one, a class one, a geographical one, a sex one, a conscious, an unconscious and perhaps even too a private one ; he combines them all in himself, but they dissolve him, and he is really nothing...