
Schrödinger was
born in Vienna and educated at Vienna University. He taught physics at the universities of
Stuttgart, Germany; Breslau, Poland; Zürich, Switzerland; Berlin, Germany; Oxford,
England; and Graz, Austria. He was director of the school of theoretical physics of the
Institute of Advanced Study in Dublin, Ireland, from 1940 until his retirement in 1955. Schrödinger's most important contribution to the
understanding of the atom was his development of an elegant and rigorous mathematical
description of the discrete standing waves that electrons must follow in their orbits
around atomic nuclei. Schrödinger proved that his theory, published in 1926, was
mathematically equivalent to the theories of matrix mechanics advanced the previous year
by the German physicist Werner Heisenberg. Together, their theories formed much of the
foundation of quantum mechanics. Schrödinger shared the 1933 Nobel Prize in physics with
the British physicist Paul A. M. Dirac for his contribution to the development of quantum
mechanics. His research included important work on atomic spectra, statistical
thermodynamics, and wave mechanics.
Text and image from Microsoft Encarta 1998. 