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Posts tagged ‘Christian Doppler’

Christian Doppler, Erwin Schroedinger, Arkadenhof, Universitaet Wien, University of Vienna, physicist, physics, Vienna, Wien, Oesterreich, Austria, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday at Uni Vienna: Doppler & Schrödinger

This month I’m highlighting notable physicists who’ve been memorialized within the Arcade Courtyard in the main building of the University of Vienna:

2 Apr: Lise Meitner;
9 Apr: Christian Doppler, Erwin Schrödinger;
16 Apr: Joseph Littrow, Karl Littrow;
23 Apr: Josef Stefan;
30 Apr: Ludwig Boltzmann.

These are names whose work and discovery form part of the historical and scientific basis of my university education in the field of physics.


Shown in the image are memorials to Christian Doppler and Erwin Schrödinger at left and right, respectively. My translation to the inscription on the Doppler memorial inscription reads:

Christian Doppler, 1803-1853:
Professor of physics at Vienna University, 1850-1853.
The Doppler principle has ensured the Doppler name for all time.

With his birth house in Salzburg as backdrop, I briefly describe the physics of the Doppler effect.

The Schrödinger memorial highlights an early 20th-century revolution in science in the form of quantum mechanics: the physics of the atom and its constituents. The well-known equation representing Newton’s 2nd Law, “F = ma”, is to classical mechanics, as the following equation is to quantum mechanics.

i \hbar \dot{\psi} \,=\, H \psi

I was able to “localize” the final resting place for Schrödinger and his wife in the Austrian alpine town of Alpbach. The above equation appears on the their grave in Alpbach and on the memorial at the University of Vienna. The equation is a generalized form of the time-dependent Schrödinger equation describing a physical system, represented by ψ, which changes with time.

The university’s historical main building is inside the city’s Old Town which has been inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001. I made the photo above on 16 May 2018 with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime and the following settings: 1/60-sec, f/6.4, ISO1000, and 18.5mm focal length (28mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-iGo.

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

My Salzburg: Christian Doppler’s birth house

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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