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Title: Philosophy of Erwin Schroedinger: a diachronic view of Schroedinger's thoughts

Abstract

There is no agreement within the scientific community about the philosophy of Schroedinger. Some people think that he was a realist, while others defend him as an idealist. In this paper we study a number of Schroedinger's works and we show that the epithets of realist and idealist do not do him justice. Toward the end we conclude that it would be more adequate to place him in the trend known as the philosophy of immanence.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Universidad de Oviedo (Spain)
OSTI Identifier:
6854842
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Found. Phys.; (United States); Journal Volume: 18:3
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; 72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; SCHROEDINGER EQUATION; REVIEWS; SCHROEDINGER PICTURE; CAUSALITY; EVALUATION; HISTORICAL ASPECTS; MEASURE THEORY; QUANTUM FIELD THEORY; QUANTUM MECHANICS; DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS; DOCUMENT TYPES; EQUATIONS; FIELD THEORIES; MATHEMATICS; MECHANICS; PARTIAL DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS; WAVE EQUATIONS 657002* -- Theoretical & Mathematical Physics-- Classical & Quantum Mechanics; 645400 -- High Energy Physics-- Field Theory

Citation Formats

Melgar, M.F. Philosophy of Erwin Schroedinger: a diachronic view of Schroedinger's thoughts. United States: N. p., 1988. Web. doi:10.1007/BF01891496.
Melgar, M.F. Philosophy of Erwin Schroedinger: a diachronic view of Schroedinger's thoughts. United States. doi:10.1007/BF01891496.
Melgar, M.F. 1988. "Philosophy of Erwin Schroedinger: a diachronic view of Schroedinger's thoughts". United States. doi:10.1007/BF01891496.
@article{osti_6854842,
title = {Philosophy of Erwin Schroedinger: a diachronic view of Schroedinger's thoughts},
author = {Melgar, M.F.},
abstractNote = {There is no agreement within the scientific community about the philosophy of Schroedinger. Some people think that he was a realist, while others defend him as an idealist. In this paper we study a number of Schroedinger's works and we show that the epithets of realist and idealist do not do him justice. Toward the end we conclude that it would be more adequate to place him in the trend known as the philosophy of immanence.},
doi = {10.1007/BF01891496},
journal = {Found. Phys.; (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 18:3,
place = {United States},
year = 1988,
month = 3
}
  • This paper, the first part of a three-part article, gives an account of Erwin Schroedinger's growing up and studies in Vienna, his scientific work--first in Vienna from 1911 to 1920, then in Zurich from 1920 to 1925--on the dielectric properties of matter, atmospheric electricity and radioactivity, general relativity, color theory and physiological optics, and on kinetic theory and statistical mechanics.
  • The author, who was Schroedinger's assistant during his last years in Vienna, gives an account of Schroedinger's views and activities during that time which lead him to a different approach to research on the relations between gravitation and quantum phenomena. Various features of past research are outlined in nontechnical terms. A heuristic argument is presented for the role of the zero-point energy of massive particles in counteracting gravitational collapse and the formation of horizons. Arguments are presented for the view that progress in describing extreme gravitational phenomena can be achieved by the new outlook obtained from the introduction of themore » analog of Maxwell's vacuum displacement term with a quasiconstant parameter, rather than from renormalization of special processes, even if this is successful. The results can be expected to be in accord with Schroedinger's conjectures. A physical interpretation for the change of sign of the differential invariant of Karlhede, Lindstroem, and Aman at the horizon is suggested. Some important historical details about Schroedinger are touched upon.« less
  • This article (Part III) deals with the early applications of wave mechanics to atomic problems - including the demonstration of the formal mathematical equivalence of wave mechanics with the quantum mechanics of Born, Heisenberg, and Jordan, and that of Dirac - by Schroedinger himself and others. The new theory was immediately accepted by the scientific community.
  • This article (Part II) deals with the creation of the theory of wave mechanics by Erwin Schroedinger in Zurich during the early months of 1926; he laid the foundations of this theory in his first two communications to Annalen der Physik. The background of Schroedinger's work on, and his actual creation of, wave mechanics are analyzed.
  • In this paper, the main outlines of the discussions between Niels Bohr with Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, and Erwin Schroedinger during 1920-1927 are treated. From the formulation of quantum mechanics in 1925-1926 and wave mechanics in 1926, there emerged Born's statistical interpretation of the wave function in summer 1926, and on the basis of the quantum mechanical transformation theory - formulated in fall 1926 by Dirac, London, and Jordan - Heisenberg formulated the uncertainty principle in early 1927. At the Volta Conference in Como in September 1927 and at the fifth Solvay Conference in Brussels the following month, Bohr publiclymore » enunciated his complementarity principle, which had been developing in his mind for several years. The Bohr-Einstein discussions about the consistency and completeness of quantum mechanics and of physical theory as such - formally begun in October 1927 at the fifth Solvay Conference and carried on at the sixth Solvay Conference in October 1930 - were continued during the next decades. All these aspects are briefly summarized.« less