Schrödinger: Life and Thought / Edition 1

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In the first comprehensive biography of Erwin Schrödinger—a brilliant and charming Austrian, a great scientist, and a man with a passionate interest in people and ideas—the author draws upon recollections of Schrödinger's friends, family and colleagues, and on contemporary records, letters and diaries. Schrödinger led a very intense life, both in his research and in the personal realm. This book portrays his life 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. In Dublin, he wrote his most famous and influential book What is Life?, which attracted some of the brightest minds of his generation into molecular biology. This highly readable biography of a fascinating and complex man will appeal 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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It is an attempt to analyze a soul, and in that respect, it surpasses even 'The Double Helix' by James Watson in its examination of the most visceral drives of a great scientist." The New York Times Book Review

"What is Life? That Schrödinger knew the answer, in more ways than one, is revealed to us in this biograpy." Nature

"This is the best book available today on the life and work of Schrödinger." Times Higher Education Supplement

"It is really two books in one: a clear, elegant and complete account of Schrödinger's scientific life and achievements, and a detailed and insightful account of Schrödinger's private life." Physics Today

"...a literate, readable biography accessible to scientists and humanists alike." American Historical Review

"It is very good on the science—sometimes too good—for it does not shirk detailed expositions of Schrödinger's theories." Observer

"An unusually thorough and competent scientific biography of one of the founders of 20th-century physical absorbing account of the social and scientific culture of Europe in the period after WWI." Choice

"...full and candid story." New York Review of Books

"The quality of this biography is outstanding, and it promises to be the key authority on the life of work of Erwin Schrödinger for years to come." Science Books and Films

"...a delightfully interesting and sympathetic view of a complex and multifaceted man....This book can be recommended as one of the best scientific biographies for how veridically and sympathetically it treats its difficult, complex subject." Perceptual and Motor Skills

The events, both intellectual and personal, which attended the invention of quantum mechanics have inspired the production of a vast literature of generally very high quality, a literature enriched now by the addition of an exquisitely detailed account of the life and thought of Erwin Schrodinger. In existing accounts, Schrodinger tends to come across as a very private, intellectually complex, semi- mystical figure--relatively difficult to get into sharp human focus. But the author--a retired professor of physical chemistry personally familiar with the realities of scientific work, comfortable with the technical points at issue (and a natural biographer!)--has had access to seemingly every shred of relevant paper, and has been able to construct an almost day-by-day account of the progress of Schrodinger's scientific work, and of the influences which contributed to its shape. He manages also to communicate a vividly full-blooded sense of Schrodinger the man--his interests in theatre, in women (including the wives of his friends), in aspects of the worlds of sense and thought seemingly far removed from quantum mechanics, from science. A splendid accomplishment. (NW) Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521437677
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/29/1992
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 978,693
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Family, childhood and youth; 2. University of Vienna; 3. Schrödinger at war; 4. From Vienna to Zurich; 5. Zurich; 6. Discovery of wave mechanics; 7. Berlin; 8. Exile in Oxford; 9. Graz; 10. Wartime Dublin; 11. Postwar Dublin; 12. Home to Vienna.

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