Happy Birthday Erwin


It’s the birthday of Erwin Schrödinger, who was born in 1887 in Vienna. Schrödinger studied physics at the University of Vienna. After serving in the Austrian army in World War I, he resumed his career as a physicist — first as Max Wien’s assistant at the University of Jena. In 1926 Schrödinger published the first of four famous papers on wave mechanics in which he derived a wave equation for time-independent systems. The equation yielded the correct energy eigenvalues for the hydrogen atom. As developed in those papers, wave mechanics not only shed light on the nature of the quantum world, it also proved to be a useful tool for calculating its properties. Schrödinger shared the 1933 physics Nobel with Paul Dirac for their “discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory.” In his later years Schrödinger wrote several books. Among the most influential was “What Is Life? The Physical Aspect of the Living Cell” (1944), in which he proposed that life’s genetic information is stored in an aperiodic crystal. The book inspired Francis Crick and James Watson to search for that crystal, DNA. Source: PhysicsToday

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