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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index S > Erwin Schrödinger Quotes > Life

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Erwin Schrödinger
(12 Aug 1887 - 4 Jan 1961)

Austrian theoretical physicist who made early major contributions in the development of quantum theory.


Erwin Schrödinger Quotes on Life (5 quotes)

>> Click for 58 Science Quotes by Erwin Schrödinger

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Bohr’s standpoint, that a space-time description is impossible, I reject a limine. Physics does not consist only of atomic research, science does not consist only of physics, and life does not consist only of science. The aim of atomic research is to fit our empirical knowledge concerning it into our other thinking. All of this other thinking, so far as it concerns the outer world, is active in space and time. If it cannot be fitted into space and time, then it fails in its whole aim and one does not know what purpose it really serves.
— Erwin Schrödinger
Letter to Willy Wien (25 Aug 1926). Quoted in Walter Moore, Schrödinger: Life and Thought (1989), 226.
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From all we have learnt about the structure of living matter, we must be prepared to find it working in a manner that cannot be reduced to the ordinary laws of physics. And that not on the ground that there is any “new force” or what not, directing the behavior of the single atoms within a living organism, but because the construction is different from anything we have yet tested in the physical laboratory.
— Erwin Schrödinger
What is Life? (1956), 74.
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Matter and energy seem granular in structure, and so does “life”, but not so mind.
— Erwin Schrödinger
In Tarner Lecture, at Trinity College, Cambridge (Oct 1956), 'The Arithmetical Paradox: The Oneness of Mind', printed in Mind and Matter (1958), 61. Also collected in What is Life?: With Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches (1992, 2012), 134.
Science quotes on:  |  Energy (346)  |  Granular (4)  |  Life (1799)  |  Matter (801)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Seeming (9)  |  Structure (346)

Nature has no reverence towards life. Nature treats life as though it were the most valueless thing in the world. … Nature does not act by purposes.
— Erwin Schrödinger
In Tarner Lecture, at Trinity College, Cambridge (Oct 1956), 'The Arithmetical Paradox: The Oneness of Mind', printed in Mind and Matter (1958), 66. Also collected in What is Life?: With Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches (1992, 2012), 138.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (272)  |  Life (1799)  |  Most (1729)  |  Nature (1928)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Reverence (28)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Treat (35)  |  Valueless (3)  |  World (1778)

[A]s you know, scientific education is fabulously neglected … This is an evil that is inherited, passed on from generation to generation. The majority of educated persons are not interested in science, and are not aware that scientific knowledge forms part of the idealistic background of human life. Many believe—in their complete ignorance of what science really is—that it has mainly the ancillary task of inventing new machinery, or helping to invent it, for improving our conditions of life. They are prepared to leave this task to the specialists, as they leave the repairing of their pipes to the plumber. If persons with this outlook decide upon the curriculum of our children, the result is necessarily such as I have just described it.
— Erwin Schrödinger
Opening remarks of the second of four public lectures for the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies at University College, Dublin (Feb 1950), The Practical Achievements of Science Tending to Obliterate its True Import', collected in Science and Humanism: Physics in Our Time (1951). Reprinted in 'Nature and the Greeks' and 'Science and Humanism' (1996), 113.
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See also:
  • 12 Aug - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Schrödinger's birth.
  • Schrödinger: Life and Thought, by Walter J. Moore. - book suggestion.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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