Erwin Schrödinger, fully Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger

Erwin
Schrödinger, fully Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger
1887
1961

Austrian Physicist, Awarded the Nobel Prize Winner in Physics and Max Planck Medal

Author Quotes

If we are going to stick to this damned quantum-jumping, then I regret that I ever had anything to do with quantum theory.

The great revelation of the quantum theory was that features of discreteness were discovered in the Book of Nature, in a context in which anything other than continuity seemed to be absurd according to the views held until then.

We have just introduced the term gene for the hypothetical material carrier of a definite hereditary feature.

If we were bees, ants, or Lacedaemonian warriors, to whom personal fear does not exist and cowardice is the most shameful thing in the world, warring would go on forever. But luckily we are only men - and cowards.

The intellect says; 'Ostensibly there is colour, ostensibly sweetness, ostensibly bitterness, actually only atoms and the void.'

We know that whenever God is experienced, it is an experience exactly as real as a direct sense impression, as real as one’s own personality. As such He must be missing from the space-time picture. ‘I do not meet with God in space and time’, so says the honest scientific thinker, and for that reason he is reproached by those in whose catechism it is nevertheless stated: ‘God is Spirit’.

[Plato] was the first to envisage the idea of timeless existence and to emphasize it—against reason—as a reality, more [real] than our actual experience…

If you cannot - in the long run - tell everyone what you have been doing, your doing has been worthless.

The laws of physics and chemistry are statistical throughout.

We must not wait for things to come, believing that they are decided by irrescindable destiny. If we want it, we must do something about it.

A careful analysis of the process of observation in atomic physics has shown that the subatomic particles have no meaning as isolated entities, but can only be understood as interconnections between the preparation of an experiment and the subsequent measurement.

In the presentation of a scientific problem, the other player is the good Lord. He has not only set the problem but also has devised the rules of the game--but they are not completely known, half of them are left for you to discover or deduce. I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but is ghastly silent about all that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. I shall quite briefly mention here the notorious atheism of science. The theists reproach it for this again and again. Unjustly. A personal God cannot be encountered in a world picture that becomes accessible only at the price that everything personal is excluded from it. We know that whenever God is experienced, it is an experience exactly as real as a direct sense impression, as real as one's own personality. As such He must be missing from the space-time picture. "I do not meet with God in space and time", so says the honest scientific thinker, and for that reason he is reproached by those in whose catechism it is nevertheless stated: "God is a Spirit." Whence came I and whither go I? That is the great unfathomable question, the same for every one of us. Science has no answer for it.

The mathematical framework of quantum theory has passed countless successful tests and is now universally accepted as a consistent and accurate description of all atomic phenomena.

Whence came I, whither go I? Science cannot tell us a word about why music delights us, of why and how an old song can move us to tears. Science is reticent too when it is a question of the great Unity – the One of Parmenides – of which we all somehow form part, to which we belong. The most popular name for it in our time is God – with a capital ‘G’. Whence come I and whither go I? That is the great unfathomable question, the same for every one of us. Science has no answer to it.

A living organism... feeds upon negative entropy... Thus the device by which an organism maintains itself stationary at a fairly high level of orderliness (= fairly low level of entropy) really consists in continually sucking orderliness from its environment.

In this communication I wish first to show in the simplest case of the hydrogen atom (nonrelativistic and undistorted) that the usual rates for quantization can be replaced by another requirement, in which mention of ‘whole numbers’ no longer occurs. Instead the integers occur in the same natural way as the integers specifying the number of nodes in a vibrating string. The new conception can be generalized, and I believe it touches the deepest meaning of the quantum rules.

The mystics of many centuries, independently, yet in perfect harmony with each other (somewhat like the particles in an ideal gas) have described, each of them, the unique experience of his or her life in terms that can be condensed in the phrase.

Why are atoms so small?... Many examples have been devised to bring this fact home to an audience, none of them more impressive than the one used by Lord Kelvin: Suppose that you could mark the molecules in a glass of water, then pour the contents of the glass into the ocean and stir the latter thoroughly so as to distribute the marked molecules uniformly throughout the seven seas; if you then took a glass of water anywhere out of the ocean, you would find in it about a hundred of your marked molecules.

An animal that embarks on forming states without greatly restricting egoism will perish.

It is these chromosomes that contain in some kind of code-script the entire pattern of the individual's future development and of its functioning in the mature state. Every complete set of chromosomes contains the full code.

The present is the only thing with no end.

BohrÂ’s standpoint, that a space-time description is impossible, I reject a limine. Physics does not consist only of atomic research, science does not consist only of physics, and life does not consist only of science. The aim of atomic research is to fit our empirical knowledge concerning it into our other thinking. All of this other thinking, so far as it concerns the outer world, is active in space and time. If it cannot be fitted into space and time, then it fails in its whole aim and one does not know what purpose it really serves.

It seems plain and self-evident, yet it needs to be said: the isolated knowledge obtained by a group of specialists in a narrow field has in itself no value whatsoever, but only in its synthesis with all the rest of knowledge and only inasmuch as it really contributes in this synthesis toward answering the demand, "Who are we?"

The scientist only imposes two things, namely truth and sincerity, imposes them upon himself and upon other scientists.

Conditions are admittedly such that we can always manage to make doing each concrete individual case without the two different aspects leading to different expectations as to the result of certain experiments. We cannot, however, manage to make do with such old, familiar, and seemingly indispensable terms as "real" or "only possible"; we are never in a position to say what really is or what really happens, but we can only say what will be observed in any concrete individual case. Will we have to be permanently satisfied with this...? On principle, yes. On principle, there is nothing new in the postulate that in the end exact science should aim at nothing more than the description of what can really be observed. The question is only whether from now on we shall have to refrain from tying description to a clear hypothesis about the real nature of the world. There are many who wish to pronounce such abdication even today. But I believe that this means making things a little too easy for oneself.

Author Picture
First Name
Erwin
Last Name
Schrödinger, fully Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger
Birth Date
1887
Death Date
1961
Bio

Austrian Physicist, Awarded the Nobel Prize Winner in Physics and Max Planck Medal