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Sunday, August 5, 2018

Erwin Schrodinger and consciousness


Photo source: Wikimedia Commons, Nobel Foundation


Erwin Schrodinger (1887-1961) was a Austrian physicist best known for his contributions to quantum mechanics and particle waves. Physicist Brian Greene says,


"Just a few months after de Broglie's suggestion, Schrodinger took the decisive step... by determining an equation that governs the shape and the evolution of probability waves, or as they became know, wave functions." (The Elegant Universe, 1999)


Jeremy Bernstein says,


"...even in this group Schrodinger stood out. He read widely in a variety of languages, ancient and modern. He was a scientific polymath with a deep interest in Eastern religions. He was also a romantic figure who wrote poetry." (Quantum Profiles, 1991)


The rest of this post is some quotes from Schrodinger.




"[Science] cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, god and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously." (Nature and the Greeks, 1954)




"Consciousness cannot be account for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be account for in terms of anything else." (Quoted in The Observer, 1931)


"Consciousness is never experienced in the plural, only in the singular." (The Oneness of Mind)


"Vedanta teaches that consciousness is singular, all happenings are played out in one universal consciousness and there is not multiplicity of selves." (My View of the World, 1961)


"The observing mind is not a physical system, it cannot interact with any physical system." (Nature and the Greeks, 1954)


Scientific laws


"The scientific world-picture vouchsafes a very complete understanding of all that happens - it makes it just a little too understandable." (Nature and the Greeks, 1954)


"Physical laws rest on atomic statistics and are therefore only approximate." (What is Life, 1944)


"God knows I am no friend of probability theory, I have hated it from the first moment when our dear friend Max Born gave it birth. For it could be seen how easy and simple it made everything, in principle, everything ironed and the true problems concealed." (Letter to Albert Einstein, 1946)