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Posts tagged ‘Erwin Schroedinger’

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

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

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

Alpbach, Austria: finding Erwin Schrödinger

Localizing his final wavefunction 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 spot%. Another academic pilgrimage completed.

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