5 Spiritual Quotes By Erwin Schrödinger

5 spiritual quotes by erwin schrodinger

Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961) is well known as one of the founders of quantum mechanics. Schrödinger's equation is to quantum physics what Newton's laws are to classical physics. For his pioneering work, Schrödinger won the Nobel Prize in 1933.

But there is more to Schrödinger than you know. In addition to contributions to physics, Schrödinger is equally famous for being closer to spirituality than any other contemporary scientist. He took particular inspiration from eastern philosophies, such as from India.

Following are five quotes by physicist Erwin Schrödinger on philosophy and spirituality that may be worth your time:

1. We do not belong to this material world that science constructs for us. We are not in it; we are outside. We are only spectators. The reason why we believe that we are in it, that we belong to the picture, is that our bodies are in the picture. Our bodies belong to it. Not only my own body, but those of my friends, also of my dog and cat and horse, and of all the other people and animals. And this is my only means of communicating with them.

2. The stages of human development are to strive for:
(a) Besitz [Possession]
(b) Wissen [Knowledge]
(c) Können [Ability]
(d) Sein [Being]

The goal of man is to preserve his Karma and to develop it further... when man dies his Karma lives and creates for itself another carrier. [from writings in 1918]

3. This life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of this entire existence, but in a certain sense the whole. This, as we know, is what the Brahmins express in that sacred, mystic formula which is yet really so simple and so clear; tat tvam asi, this is you. Or, again, in such words as "I am in the east and the west, I am above and below, I am this entire world." [from My View of the World 1951]

4. I am born into an environment — I know not whence I came nor whither I go nor who I am. This is my situation as yours, every single one of you. That is why we are eager to find out about it as much as we can.

And that is science, learning, knowledge; it is the true source of every spiritual endeavor of man. We try to find out as much as we can about the spatial and temporal surroundings of the place in which we find ourselves put by birth…

Although Schrodinger rejected traditional religious beliefs - Jewish, Christian, and Islamic - but he loved to indulge in religious expressions and metaphors. Schrodinger, like Heisenberg was deeply inspired by Vedantic concepts that helped him cope with the absurdity of quantum mechanics.

5. I think that life may be the result of an accident, but I do not think that of consciousness. Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else. (1931)

5 Rules of Quantum Mechanics By Werner Heisenberg

quantum mechanics for beginners

German physicist Werner Heisenberg is well known as one of the founders of quantum mechanics. Heisenberg was only 25 years old when he arrived at the uncertainty principle, which became the basis of Bohr-Einstein debate on the nature of reality.

For his pioneering contributions, Heisenberg was recognized by the Nobel Prize committee in 1932. He was among the youngest recipients of the Nobel Prize. The following are five rules or lessons in quantum mechanics by one of its creators, Werner Heisenberg.

1. The more precise the measurement of position, the more imprecise the measurement of momentum - and vice versa.

This is how Heisenberg summarized uncertainty principle in one line. Niels Bohr proposed later on that "complementarity" is a fundamental feature of reality. In other words, particles have certain pairs of complementary properties which cannot be observed simultaneously.

Earlier, the words "position" and "velocity" of an electron seemed perfectly well defined as per the mathematical framework of Newtonian mechanics. But actually when we are going to such unimaginably small scales, they are not well defined in accordance with uncertainty equation.

2. Wave particle duality arises because of limitation in our language.

By nature, light and matter are single entities. However we cannot describe them as they are - hence the solution is to split their overall behavior into wave and particle like properties. Because that is the limitation of human language, says Heisenberg.

Our language was invented to study and describe the experiences of daily life consisting of processes and objects involving large numbers of atoms. The apparent duality at small scales is a result of this limitation.

3. All particles are made of the same substance: energy.

In quantum mechanics, the smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense - they are forms and ideas which can be expressed only by means of a mathematical language. This makes true what Pythagoras famously said: All things are numbers.

Moreover, particles are not eternal and indestructible - they can be transformed into each other. For example: if two particles moving with a very high kinetic energy collide, then many new elementary particles may be created from the available energy and the old particles will have disappeared in the collision.

4. What we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.

According to Heisenberg, physics does not simply describe and explain nature; it is part of the interplay between nature and ourselves; it describes nature as exposed to our nature of questioning.

As a matter of fact, every experiment destroys some of the knowledge of the system which was obtained by previous experiments. Can nature possibly be so absurd? asked Heisenberg, as he struggled to make sense of the world.

5. If you're not shocked by quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics.

The very foundations of physics were shaken up by the arrival of new quantum theory. Heisenberg has said: Whenever we proceed from the known into the unknown, we may have to learn a new meaning of the word "understanding." Much of everything that was known before became null and void overnight.

For example: The law of causality is no longer applied in quantum theory and the law of conservation of matter is no longer true for the elementary particles.

That is why, before studying quantum mechanics one must discard all pre-existing notions about the world and forget what was learned in large scale or Newtonian physics.

How did Heisenberg cope? Heisenberg admired Eastern philosophy and saw parallels between it and quantum mechanics. He stated that after having conversations with Rabindranath Tagore about Indian philosophy "some of the ideas that seemed so crazy suddenly made much more sense".

10 Interesting Facts About Chien-Shiung Wu

interesting science facts about Chieng-Shiung Wu

Chinese American physicist Chien Shiung Wu [1912-1997] is most well known for performing an experiment in 1956 which proved that parity or mirror image symmetry is not conserved - when it comes to the weak nuclear force.

The result was a shocker. Nobel laureate Wolfgang Pauli said on behalf of the physics community: "We are all rather shaken by the death of our beloved friend, parity."

Wu was an acclaimed experimental physicist and her expertise in the subject evoked comparisons to Marie Curie. She was nicknamed the Chinese Madame Curie, queen of nuclear research, as well as the first lady of physics.

Following are ten facts on physicist Chien Shiung Wu...

1. Wu was extremely close to her father, who was an engineer. He created an environment for children that encouraged curiosity, questioning and research from an early age. Wu's mother was a school teacher who valued gender equality.

2. Wu received her primary education at a school for girls that was founded by her father. At home, she was surrounded by books, magazines and newspapers. Her hand writing was considered outstanding by others as she was praised for her Chinese calligraphy.

3. As a high school student, Wu struggled in the subject of mathematics. Her father bought self study guides to trigonometry, algebra and geometry one summer to help. That experience created a life long habit of self learning and gave Wu sufficient confidence.

4. In 1936, Wu was accepted by the University of Michigan, but she was shocked at the sexism in the campus. She decided to study at the more liberal Berkely in California. Wu was a popular student and among the most talented. Her nick name at Berkeley was Gee Gee.

5. Wu worked closely with Robert Oppenheimer on the Manhattan project in 1944 where she helped develop the process for separating uranium into isotopes by gaseous diffusion. Years later, Wu recommended the Taiwanese president not to build a nuclear weapon due to its destructive outcome.

6. In 1949, Wu was the first to conduct a successful experiment on quantum entanglement or as Einstein called it - spooky action at a distance. Her work was the first important confirmation of quantum results relevant to a pair of entangled photons.

7. When the communists came to power in China the following year, Wu's father wrote urging her never to return. Since her passport was issued by the former government, it became invalid to travel abroad. Wu became an American citizen in 1954.

8. Physicists Lee and Yang's theoretical studies showed that parity would be violated for the weak force. Wu was an expert on beta decay experiment, which is a consequence of the weak force. In 1956, she proved that beta particles from Cobalt were emitted asymmetrically and hence parity was not conserved.

9. Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen-Ning Yang won the Nobel Prize in 1957. However, Wu was not honored until 1978 when she won the inaugural Wolf Prize - the criteria for this award is those scientists who were thought deserving to win a Nobel Prize but did not win.

10. She spent her final years promoting STEM education for girls. Wu's dying wish was to be buried in the courtyard of the Ming De school that her father had founded and that she had attended as a little girl.

How Max Planck Discovered Quantum Theory

how max planck discovered quantum theory physics

German physicist Max Planck (1858-1947) was born in a traditional, intellectual family. Religion played a big part in the Planck household as both his great grandfather and grandfather were theology professors.

In 1867, Planck was enrolled in the Maximilians gymnasium school, where he came under the guidance of Hermann Müller, a mathematician who immediately recognized Planck's genius.

It was from Müller that Planck first learned the principle of conservation of energy as a 10 year old - that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. This is how Planck first came in contact with the field of physics.

Planck's big problem

When Planck expressed desire to pursue a career in physics, a professor Philipp von Jolly advised him against it, saying: "In physics, almost everything is already discovered."

Planck did not intend to make a discovery of new kind... he simply wanted to study physics deeply. In 1877, aged 19, Planck came under the mentorship of such renowned German scientists as Hermann von Helmholtz and Gustav Kirchhoff.

How Max Planck discovered quantum theory?
Max Planck, 1878

Planck was a devoted student with a knack for solving problems. By 1880, he had earned two of the highest degrees offered in Europe - a PhD degree and a qualification for professorship in Universities.

In 1894, Planck started working on the problem of black body radiation as classical theory of light had failed to explain what all was happening.

What is a black body?

A hypothetical black body can absorb all the energy that comes in contact with it, and then because of the laws of thermodynamics, this ideal body must also re-emit as much light as it absorbs.

Spectrum of a near perfect black body at an arbitrary constant temperature is shown below:

how max planck discovered quantum theory black body spectrum

All objects actually emit radiation if their temperature is greater than absolute zero. An iron horseshoe, a ceramic cup and even people. The blackbody spectrum tells what is the peak wavelength emitted by that object at that temperature.

Very hot objects will glow - like Tungsten filament in a light bulb at 3300 Kelvin. Human body would emit invisible infrared radiation at 310 Kelvin.

It is important to note that all black body distributions look alike, except that they "peak" in different wavelength regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Classical VS quantum

In 1893, Wilhelm Wien had introduced Wien's law, which correctly predicted the behavior of black body at high frequencies - smaller wavelengths, but failed at low frequencies.

The Rayleigh–Jeans law of 1900 agreed with experimental results at low frequencies (below 100 THz), but created an "ultraviolet catastrophe" at higher frequencies.

How Max planck discovered quantum theory

There was no single law or theory that agreed with experimental data at all the values of frequency. Planck was determined to find a solution and at the turn of the century - he did.

In 1901, by assuming that radiation cannot be emitted continuously, as taught by classical physics, but in discrete packets or quanta.

Thus, energy is quantized according to Planck's law.

Planck considered quantization as being purely a mathematical trick and didn't really believe it to be anything more - it just fit the data at hand. In Planck's own words, energy quantum was "purely a formal assumption".

After all, physics is not really about "why" something is true but more about "how" does it work part. Ultimately, by moving away from classical theory Planck was able to explain the shape of black body spectrum to a high degree of accuracy.

Few years later, when Einstein solved another phenomenon where classical theory failed - the photoelectric effect - he gave physical meaning to Planck's energy quantum. The term "photon" was coined and a whole new quantum revolution began.

5 Physicists Who Started Their Own Business

physicists who became successful entrepreneurs

It is said that anyone can start a business - and scientists too have delved into entrepreneurship from time to time. As physics and technology are closely related, most companies by physicists are technological - but there is one exception of a fast food chain!

1. Peter Buck

Peter Buck was an American physicist who co-founded the Subway fast food chain of restaurants. He earned master's and doctoral degrees in physics at Columbia University. Buck specialized in nuclear physics and worked for General Electric company for a while.

In 1965, Buck loaned $1000 to family friend Fred DeLuca and advised him to open a sandwich shop. Initially, the company was named Pete's Super Submarines. In 1974, they started franchising out the restaurant and renamed it to Subway sandwiches.

As of June 2021, Subway sandwiches had 37,540 locations in more than 100 countries and territories. It was also the fastest growing fast food chain in 2015.

2. Akio Morita

Akio Morita was a Japanese physicist and entrepreneur who co-founded the Sony corporation - initially named Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation - with physicist Masaru Ibuka.

Morita was born into a business family and was trained to one day overtake the operations. However, Morita found his true calling in mathematics and physics. He graduated from Osaka Imperial University with a degree in physics in 1944.

Sony sold the first tape recorder in Japan in 1950. In 1957, Sony also launched pocket sized radio - a precursor to Walkman which was introduced in 1979. It is believed that Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, wanted his company to create products that Akio would love.

3. Robert Noyce

Nicknamed the "mayor" of Silicon valley, Robert Noyce was an American physicist and inventor who co-founded the Intel corporation in 1968.

As a child, Noyce would build remote controlled aircraft and radio from scratch. He was a multi-talented person who not only exhibited a talent for mathematics in high school, but also sang at college and was part of the swimming team.

He graduated with a BA in physics and mathematics in 1949 and received his doctorate in physics from MIT in 1953. Noyce was hooked when his physics professor showed in one class the very first transistors invented at Bell labs.

In 1959, Noyce invented a new type of integrated circuit made of Silicon, that triggered a personal computing revolution later on, and gave Silicon valley its name. Today, the company Intel is inseparably linked to the business of personal computers.

4. Cecil Howard Green

Cecil Howard Green was a British-born American geophysicist, electrical engineer and entrepreneur who co-founded Texas Instruments in 1951. He also set up the University of Texas at Dallas in 1969.

Green was employed at Geophysical Service Incorporated, a petroleum exploration company. He purchased the entire business with colleagues in 1941 and they started manufacturing electrical instruments during the World War.

Today, Texas Instruments company holds over 45,000 patents worldwide! The growth of his company made Green an enormously wealthy man and he turned to philanthropy, giving away $200 million to educational and medical causes.

5. Ray Dolby

Ray Dolby was an American physicist, engineer and entrepreneur who invented a noise reduction system for use in audio tape recording in 1965 - the same year he also founded his company, Dolby laboratories in London.

physicists who started business (entrepreneurship)

Dolby received a bachelor degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University (1957). He went on to complete a PhD in physics from the University of Cambridge in 1961 by winning the Marshall scholarship.

Dolby left in his will a sum of £35 million to Pembroke College of University of Cambridge. His family also donated a further £85m to the University's Cavendish Laboratory. Today, Dolby is a leading developer of audio technologies for cinema, home theatres and mobile phones.

10 Albert Einstein Quotes To Inspire Students

albert einstein inspiring quotes for students

Albert Einstein was not only one of the greatest physicists of all time, but also famous for his words of wisdom. Students often approached Einstein with their problems and he would be more than willing to help.

The following are just a few of Einstein's wise sayings that will encourage and inspire you to be all that you can be.

1. Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater. (In a letter to high school student Barbara Lee Wilson in 1943).

2. I do not carry such information in my mind since it is readily available in books. (In response to not knowing the speed of sound).

Einstein also similarly said, "The value of a college education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think".

3. Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Einstein wrote this gem of an advice in a letter to his son - Eduard, dated 5 February 1930.

4. If A is success in life, then A = x + y + z. Work is x, play is y and z is keeping your mouth shut. (Said to Samuel J Woolf in 1929).

5. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. (1929)

Einstein's imagination led him to discover new theories in physics. For example, once when he was sitting in his office, Einstein thought: If a person falls freely, he will not feel his own weight. This thought pushed Einstein to a new theory of gravitation.

6. Everyone sits in the prison of his own ideas; he must burst it open, and that in his youth, and so try to test his ideas on reality.

7. I have only two rules which I regard as principles of conduct. The first is: Have no rules. The second is: Be independent of the opinion of others. 1930

8. Never lose a holy curiosity. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little bit of mystery each day. Don't stop to marvel.

9. Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.

10. I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.

Clearly, Nobel prize winning scientist Albert Einstein had a knack for solving problems - be it in physics or in life in general. He continues to inspire millions of people every day.
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