Fotoeins Fotografie

photography as worlds between words

Posts from the ‘Science’ category

Christian Doppler, Doppler birth house, Dopplers Geburtshaus, Salzburg, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

Comings and goings: Christian Doppler born here

In crossing the pedestrian bridge over the Salzach river, every step takes me away from the famous view of the fortress over Old Town classics of steeples and baroque in Salzburg. Before I get to where I want to be, I have to cross a busy street in the afternoon rush which has come to a halt. Wailing sirens approach and recede as red and white “Rettungswagen” race to the emergency situation somewhere in the city. The cyclical lights are in my favour, and upon turning the corner, I see the sign that tells me I’ve arrived.

One self-assigned goal during three weeks of travel within Austria was the search for places associated with physicists and mathematicians of my youth. And by youth, I mean the tender twenties when all I cared about was a succinct explanation of the natural world through various equations1. In Alpbach, I found Erwin and Annemarie Schrödinger’s grave. In Vienna, I found Ludwig Boltzmann’s grave. Here in Salzburg across the street from the Mozart family house, I found Christian Doppler after whom the Doppler effect is named.

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Ludwig Boltzmann, Wiener Zentralfriedhof, Vienna Central Cemetery, Vienna, Wien, Austria, fotoeins.com

Spring in Vienna: finding Ludwig Boltzmann

I’m neither tragic nor hip, but I know a little bit about Canadian icon and band, The Tragically Hip, and specifically, a song of theirs called “Springtime in Vienna.”

I can’t play a musical instrument, but I especially liked listening to a performance of Johann Strauss II’s “An der schönen blauen Donau” (The Blue Danube) on an intercity river catamaran between Vienna and Bratislava.

What I’m totally convinced is when spring comes calling, I’m allergic to nature. I’m a living example to irritation and inflammation, and living consequence to nature’s response to spring.

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Erwin Schroedinger, Annemarie Schroedinger, Alpbach Cemetery, Heiliger Oswald, Pfarrkirche Alpbach, Alpbach, Tirol, Tyrol, Austria, fotoeins.com

Finding Erwin Schrödinger

Localizing his final wavefunction, at rest in Alpbach

It took a little effort: a train out from Innsbruck to Brixlegg, followed by a regional bus into another valley of countless valleys, accompanied by the illumination of sharp morning light, in a blanket of meadows and buttercups, under a deep ocean of impossibly blue skies. And on both sides of this river valley are an endless series of mountains, these peaks the smaller cousins to larger Austrian Alps nearby.

In Alpbach, the weekday morning is quiet, as the town begins to stir with people starting their work day. The bank has just opened, fresh baked bread and pastry and roasted coffee emanate from the cafe from around the corner, a couple of trucks rumble into town with deliveries. An older couple walks by, and there are mutual sunny greets of “Grüss Gott”. The church steeple glows yellow at this hour, and it’s easy to imagine with its bell the church is an aural and visual beacon for miles.

I’m drawn to the church because that was always the plan, to look for someone who’s buried in the church cemetery. Ordered rows of headstones lie as you would expect, but by the northwest gate, I find a single plaque on the bordering stone wall. The plaque reads: “Erwin Schrödinger, Nobelpreis für Physik, 1933”, and next to the plaque is Erwin and Annemarie Schrödinger’s final resting spot1. Another academic pilgrimage completed.

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Counting year 18 in Germany with an accent on Austria

Above: Lermoos (photo by Bbb, CC BY-SA 3.0).

With two-country Eurail pass in hand, I’m in Germany for the 18th consecutive year. However, my emphasis throughout May will be in Austria. While my extended time in Austria is primarily divided among Innsbruck, Salzburg, and Vienna, I have multiple side-excursions, many of which will involve chasing good spring light and “(wide) pictures in the green.” I doubt I’ll adopt an Austrian accent to my spoken German, but stranger things have happened …

Noticeable below is no mention of Salzburg’s “The Sound of Music”, for which many Austrians have little awareness or knowledge as residents do not consider the film representative of people or country, and about which others online have already described. My interests in Austria lie elsewhere: they lie in my ability and advantage to speak German; the culture of bistros, cafés, and wine taverns; border crossings wiped out by Schengen; Jewish history; Jugendstil and Secession; salt mines; science; and urban art.

2018 is the European Year of Cultural Heritage and is also the year of Vienna Modernism, marking the 100th anniversary year of the deaths of Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, Egon Schiele, and Otto Wagner.

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Bodensee, Lake Constance, Konstanz, Germany, fotoeins.com

World Water Day: an RTW selection

Above: Early start by fishermen on the Bodensee on a misty autumn morning (HL).

22 March is World Water Day:

An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro. The United Nations (UN) General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.

Cape Town’s dwindling fresh water supply has once again raised attention and a call to examine usage, recycling, and waste of available drinking water.

I list the following examples of fresh water bodies to question our interaction with and impact on water sources, and to ask whether water is truly free and whether some people are more “free” to receive water than others.

  1. Aachener Weiher: Cologne, Germany
  2. Akaka Falls: Hawaii, USA
  3. Aussenalster: Hamburg, Germany
  4. Bodensee: Unteruhldingen, Germany
  5. Capilano Lake: Vancouver, Canada
  6. Eibsee: Grainau, Germany
  7. Embalse Puclaro: Región de Coquimbo, Chile
  8. Foz do Iguaçu: Brazil
  9. Lake Burley Griffin: Canberra, Australia
  10. Lake Matheson: New Zealand’s South Island
  11. Lake Ontario: Toronto, Canada
  12. Lake Washington: Seattle, USA

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