Born  12 August 1887 
Died  4 January 1961 
Awards 

Known for 

Thesis  Über die Leitung der Elektrizität auf der Oberfläche von Isolatoren an feuchter Luft 
Erwin Schrödinger: Facts
Erwin Schrödinger was born on 12 August 1887 in Vienna, Austria. He was the only child of Rudolf Schrödinger, a cloth manufacturer, and Georgine Emilia Brenda (maiden name Bauer) who came from a family of painters. He grew up in an intellectual family where his parents placed great value on his education and encouraged an interest in science and mathematics at an early age.
Erwin Schrödinger: Early Life and Studies
Schrödinger attended the Akademisches Gymnasium in Vienna, where he further developed his skills in mathematics and physics. After graduating from school, he began studying at the University of Vienna in 1906, where he was taught by renowned professors such as Franz S. Exner and Friedrich Hasenöhrl. In 1910, Schrödinger graduated with a doctorate in physics and subsequently worked as Exner's assistant.
During the First World War, Schrödinger served as an officer in the Austrian army. After the war ended, he returned to the University of Vienna and habilitated in 1920. In the following years, Schrödinger taught at various universities, including the University of Stuttgart, the University of Breslau, the University of Zurich, the University of Berlin and the University of Oxford.
Erwin Schrödinger: Scientific Career
During his time in Zurich, from 1921 to 1927, he developed his famous Schrödinger equation, which later earned him the Nobel Prize. This groundbreaking work laid the foundation for wave mechanics and fundamentally changed the understanding of atoms and molecules.
Schrödinger's academic career took him through various countries and brought him into contact with many important scientists of his time, such as Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg. His scientific influence and contributions to quantum mechanics have had a lasting impact on modern physics and have occupied an important place in the history of science.
Erwin Schrödinger: Family and Private Life
Erwin Schrödinger married Annemarie Bertel in 1920, with whom he had a daughter, Ruth. Schrödinger was known for his unconventional lifestyle and also had extramarital affairs.
Schrödinger had a close friendship with Albert Einstein and the two kept up a lively correspondence, exchanging ideas and thoughts on quantum mechanics and other scientific topics. Schrödinger died in Vienna on 4 January 1961.
Schrödinger's Cat
The Schrödinger cat thought experiment is one of the most famous examples to illustrate the paradoxes of quantum mechanics. Erwin Schrödinger developed this experiment to point out the problems of interpreting quantum states.
Imagine a cat is in a locked box along with a radioactive sample, a Geiger counter and a bottle of deadly poison. When the Geiger counter detects radioactivity, the poison is released and the cat dies. According to quantum mechanics, the cat is now in a state where it is alive and dead at the same time, as long as no one looks into the box. It is only through observation that the cat's state is determined. This experiment shows the difficulties of applying quantum mechanics to classical objects like cats.
The radioactive sample releases radiation whenever a radioactive decay happens by chance. This can happen immediately, after closing the box, or much later, or not at all.
The Significance of Schrödinger's Cat for Quantum Mechanics
Schrödinger's Cat is an important contribution to the debate on the interpretation of quantum mechanics. It highlights classical physics's limits and helps clarify the concepts of superposition and wave function collapse.
The Schrödinger Cat thought Schrödinger originally developed the experiment to critique the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics advocated by Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg.
Erwin Schrödinger: Equation
The Schrödinger equation is a fundamental equation of quantum mechanics that describes the time course of quantum systems. It makes it possible to determine the wave function of a particle system and thus calculate the probabilities for certain measurement results, such as position or momentum. The equation has revolutionised the understanding of atoms and molecules and is now a central tool in modern physics and chemistry.
\[i \hbar \frac{∂^2 \psi}{∂t} = \frac{\hbar^2}{2m} \frac{∂^2\psi}{∂ x^2} + V \psi\]
Where i is the imaginary number \(\sqrt{1}\), \(\hbar\) is the reduced Planck constant (Planck constant divided by \(2 \pi\), \(\psi\) is the Schrödinger wave function of the particle, m is the mass of the particle, x is the position of the particle, and V is the potential energy influencing the particle.
The component \(i \hbar \frac{∂ \psi}{∂t}\) is the total energy of the particle, which stays constant over time. The total energy is composed of two types of energy, described in the right side of the equation: the kinetic energy (\(\frac{\hbar^2}{2m}\)) and the potential energy (\(V \psi\))
Application and Examples of the Schrödinger Equation
A wellknown example of the application of the Schrödinger equation is the hydrogen atom. The equation makes it possible to calculate the electron distribution around the nucleus and the energy states of the atom. These results are fundamental for understanding atomic bonds and chemical reactions. The Schrödinger equation is also used in other areas of physics, such as solidstate physics, to describe electrons in solids or quantum optics to study light quanta (photons).
Erwin Schrödinger and the Nobel Prize
Erwin Schrödinger received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933 together with Paul Dirac. The two scientists were awarded the prize for their groundbreaking work on quantum mechanics, in particular for the wave mechanics developed by Schrödinger and the relativistic theory of electrons developed by Dirac. Their work laid the foundation for the modern understanding of quantum physics and the description of subatomic particles.
1933 was the first time the prize was awarded for work in quantum mechanics.
The Importance of the Nobel Prize for Schrödinger's Career
The Nobel Prize gave Erwin Schrödinger international recognition and confirmed the importance of his work for the development of modern physics. After winning the Nobel Prize, he continued his research and taught at various universities. His influence on science extends far beyond his own research, as many of his students and colleagues also made significant contributions to physics and chemistry.
Schrödinger's Atomic Model
Erwin Schrödinger developed his atomic model based on the Schrödinger equation he formulated. In contrast to the earlier atomic models, such as that of Niels Bohr, Schrödinger's model considers electrons as waves surrounding the atomic nucleus. This wavemechanical approach led to a more accurate description of atoms and their energy states and enabled the prediction of chemical bonds and reactions.
Schrödinger was fascinated by the beauty of mathematics and regarded the mathematical equations describing his atomic model as a poetic expression of nature.
Differences between Schrödinger's Atomic Model and Other Atomic Models
The Schrödinger atomic model differs from earlier models in that it takes into account quantum mechanics and the wave nature of electrons. While Bohr's model describes electrons as particles that orbit around the nucleus in fixed paths, Schrödinger's model assumes that the electrons distribute themselves as waves around the nucleus. This approach allows a more accurate description of atoms and their properties and has changed our understanding of matter at a fundamental level.
Erwin Schrödinger's Discoveries
Inventions in the field of quantum mechanics
Although Erwin Schrödinger did not make any concrete inventions in the classical sense, his theoretical work made a decisive contribution to the development of quantum mechanics. His Schrödinger equation and the atomic model based on it are fundamental building blocks of modern physics and chemistry. In addition, Schrödinger's famous thought experiment of the Schrödinger cat helped to advance the debate on the interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Applications of Schrödinger's ideas in modern technology
Schrödinger's theoretical work has had farreaching implications for modern technologies. Quantum mechanics is now a central tool in many fields, such as materials research, nanotechnology and quantum computing. Schrödinger's ideas are thus not only of academic interest, but also have practical applications that shape our everyday lives and the technologies of the future.
Schrödinger's work also influenced biology, particularly through his 1944 book "What is Life?", in which he examined the role of molecules and physical laws in the formation and function of living things. This book inspired many biologists and physicists, including James Watson and Francis Crick, the codiscoverers of the DNA structure.
Erwin Schrödinger's Thoughts on Consciousness
In his book "What Is Life?", Schrödinger proposed a hypothesis known as "Schrödinger's consciousness." According to Schrödinger, consciousness is a phenomenon that arises from the physical structure and activities of the brain. He argued that consciousness is not a separate entity or a mysterious force, but rather an emergent property of complex biological systems. In other words, consciousness is a result of the intricate interactions and computations happening within the brain.
Schrödinger viewed consciousness as a higherlevel process that cannot be fully explained by reductionist approaches alone. He believed that it is rooted in the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics, specifically the concept of superposition and the idea that particles can exist in multiple states simultaneously.
He proposed that consciousness emerges from the quantum superposition of neural activities in the brain. According to Schrödinger, these superposed states give rise to subjective experiences, thoughts, and selfawareness. He suggested that consciousness is a coherent and unified state that emerges when the quantum processes within the brain reach a certain threshold of complexity.
It is important to note that Schrödinger's ideas on consciousness were theoretical and speculative, and they have been the subject of ongoing debate and exploration within the scientific community.
Erwin Schrödinger  Key takeaways
 Erwin Schrödinger: Austrian physicist and pioneer of quantum mechanics, known for the Schrödinger equation.
 Schrödinger's Cat: Famous thought experiment that illustrates paradoxes of quantum mechanics
 Erwin Schrödinger's early life: Born on 12 August 1887 in Vienna, Austria, received his doctorate from the University of Vienna in 1914
 Erwin Schrödinger equation: Fundamental equation of quantum mechanics describing the wave nature of particles
 Erwin Schrödinger and the Nobel Prize: Received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933 together with Paul Dirac for their contributions to quantum mechanics
 Erwin Schrödinger's atomic model: Wavemechanical model describing electrons as waves around the atomic nucleus
 Erwin Schrödinger's inventions: Influenced modern technologies such as materials research, nanotechnology and quantum computing through his theoretical work in quantum mechanics
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Frequently Asked Questions about Erwin Schrödinger
How to pronounce Erwin Schrödinger?
The phonetics for Schrödinger (also written Schroedinger) are /ˈʃrɜːdɪŋər/.
What is Erwin Schrödinger's theory?
Schrödinger's most famous theory and contribution to physics is that particles can behave like waves and that, according to quantum mechanics, they can be in several states at the same time.
What is Erwin Schrödinger most famous for?
Erwin Schrödinger is most famous for his thought experiment "Schrödinger's cat", in which a poisoned cat in a box can be alive and dead at the same time until somebody looks inside the box.
What did Schrödinger's cat experiment prove?
The Schrödinger cat thought experiment proves the paradoxes of quantum mechanics. Erwin Schrödinger developed this experiment to point out the problems of interpreting quantum states, as in theory, the cat can be both alive and dead until someone actually checks the state of the cat.
What is Schrödinger's cat theory called?
Schrödinger's cat theory is called "the quantum indeterminacy or the observer's paradox".
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