Erwin Schrödinger


Erwin Schrödinger

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Erwin Schrödinger
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1933

Born: 12 August 1887, Vienna, Austria

Died: 4 January 1961, Vienna, Austria

Affiliation at the time of the award: Berlin University, Berlin, Germany

Prize motivation: "for the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory."

Prize share: 1/2


In Niels Bohr's theory of the atom, electrons absorb and emit radiation of fixed wavelengths when jumping between fixed orbits around a nucleus. The theory provided a good description of the spectrum created by the hydrogen atom, but needed to be developed to suit more complicated atoms and molecules. Assuming that matter (e.g., electrons) could be regarded as both particles and waves, in 1926 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a wave equation that accurately calculated the energy levels of electrons in atoms.

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