Schroedinger : Life and Thought

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Erwin Schroedinger 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 Schroedinger, Walter Moore draws upon recollections of Schroedinger's friends, family and colleagues, and on contemporary records, letters and diaries. Schroedinger'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. Schroedinger 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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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139927140
  • 9781139927147

Review quote

"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 Schroedinger 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 Schroedinger." Times Higher Education Supplement "It is really two books in one: a clear, elegant and complete account of Schroedinger's scientific life and achievements, and a detailed and insightful account of Schroedinger'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 Schroedinger'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 Schroedinger 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
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Table of contents

1. Family, childhood and youth; 2. University of Vienna; 3. Schroedinger 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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