Schrodinger in Dublin


I think that most people these days has heard of “Schrödinger’s cat”, even if they don’t really know what that’s about. Essentially it was a “thought experiment” devised by the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger  try to illustrate a contradiction in the theory of quantum mechanics.  I mainly associate him with his wave equation which I struggled to get to grips with when I was studying chemistry at University many many years ago.

Erwin Schrödinger.jpg

Until my recent visit to Ireland I never realised that Schrödinger had lived there, but he emigrated to Ireland in October 1939 to work at the newly established School of Theoretical Physics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.  For many years the School was based at this house on Merrion Square South.


An outspoken critic of the Nazis, he was suddenly fired from his University job in Austria for “political unreliability” and had to flee the country.

Schrödinger lived and worked in Ireland for 17 years, becoming a naturalized Irish citizen in 1948, (but retained his Austrian citizenship), before returning to Austria. While he was there he continued to work on the philosophy of quantum theory and also became active in the emerging field of molecular biology.


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