How much was Erwin Schrodinger worth?
|Net Worth:||$400 Thousand|
|Date of Birth:||August 12, 1887|
Who Is Erwin Schrodinger
Erwin Schrodinger was one of the key figures in the early development of quantum mechanics in the first half of the twentieth century.
- Birthdate: August 12, 1887
- Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
- Death: January 4, 1961
Spelling of Name
The last name is more properly spelled Schrödinger, though sometimes the umlaut (the dots over the o) are left off, as I’ve done in this article for convenience. Still other times, you may see the name spelled Schroedinger, in an attempt to somehow mimic the pronunciation without the umlaut.
Education & Academia
Schrodinger began his studies on his own, receiving a recognition for this work known as Habilitation in 1914. He worked from 1914 to 1918 as a commissioned officer in the Austrian fortress artillery. Following this, he received associate and full professor positions, until 1921 when moved to the University of Zurich. In 1927, Schrodinger took over Max Planck’s position at the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin. He remained at this position until 1934, when he left Germany due to dislike of Nazi anti-semitism. He bounced around from university to university for a few years, before returning to Austria for a position at the University of Graz in 1936. In 1939, under scrutiny from the Nazi party, he recanted his opposition to their policies, but still decided to flee with his wife to Italy. They ultimately ended up in Ireland, helping to establish a School for Theoretical Physics in 1940 and remaining there until his retirement in 1955.
Quantum Physics Achievements
Schrodinger began publishing in the field of atomic theory in the early 1920’s, after he moved to Germany. He focused on work related to spectroscopy,coming out of years of work in experimental physics.
This line of theoretical reasoning eventually led him to publishing a paper in 1926 that used wave mechanics to describe quantum behavior, which resulted in the development of the Schrodinger equation: a wave equation for time-independent systems. In this 1926 paper, he demonstrated that his equation yielded correct energy eigenvalues for a hydrogen-like atom. Over a course of three subsequent papers, Schrodinger more fully developed his approach and demonstrated that it was equivalent to an existing approach created by Werner Heisenberg. Schrodinger shared the 1933 Nobel Prize in Physics together with Paul Dirac “for the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory.” In 1937, he received the Max Planck Medal.
In addition to his direct theoretical insights in the development of the Schrodinger equation, Erwin Schrodinger is perhaps even more well known for his philosophical contributions to the early understanding of quantum physics. Specifically, his effort to challenge the logic of the Copenhagen interpretation led him to develop a gendankenexperiment in 1935 that has become known as Schrodinger’s cat. Despite its effort to show the absurdity of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, many supporters of that interpretation have held it up as useful in demonstrating the very bizarre behavior that they think does take place at the quantum level, implementing a concept of decoherence as a means of resolving the difference between the microscopic and macroscopic scales.
Schrodinger often referred to himself as an atheist, although this is probably an over-simplification, as he held a variety of broad religious viewpoints most closely aligned with Eastern religions and pantheism. He also metaphorically used language suggesting that his scientific research had a metaphysical component, bringing one closer to an awareness of the godhead.
In 1944, Schrodinger wrote a book called What Is Life?, where he tried to connect his understanding of theoretical physics into an understanding of the foundations of biology. The two principle discoverers of the DNA molecule, James D. Watson and Francis Crick, both attributed Schrodinger’s book as an inspiration for their drive to discover genetic information stored within molecules. However, most of the key principles that Schrodinger discuss in What Is Life? were already more fully developed by the Nobel Prize-winning biologist H.J. Muller in the 1920’s. Schrodinger’s treatment, however, introduced a concept of negentropy (or negative entropy) which he used as a founding principle upon which to build his definition of life.