THE VIENNESE POLYMATH
Physics does not consist only of atomic research, science does not consist only of physics, and life does not consist only of science.
“When you began this work you had no idea that anything so clever would come out of it, had you?” This question was addressed to the Austrian theorist Erwin Schrödinger sometime in the fall of 1926. The questioner was a young female admirer of the thirty-nine-year-old physicist, whose unusual marriage allowed for many such “friendships.” The work in question was that leading to the most famous equation of quantum mechanics, the “wave equation,” named after its inventor. Schrödinger’s scientific colleagues were less restrained in their praise. The reserved Planck ...