CONTEXT

August 12, 2011

Paddling out of the intertropical convergence zone

. . .aka, the doldrums. Could be weather-related – these are the dog days after all – or it could be a delayed reaction to the msm-generated hysteria over the national debt, or really any example of the mind-numbingly boring political posturing that has replaced a national dialogue, but an overwhelming lethargy suddenly descended, The cure for this is patience and an acute awareness of the elements, much like a sailor watches, day after day, for the tiniest luff in the mainsail.

Erwin Schrödinger

The doldrums, btw, are that place near the equator where the winds of the northern hemisphere bump up against the winds of the southern hemisphere and everything goes quite still. Much dreaded by sailors in the olden days.

To escape them, let’s celebrate Erwin Schrödinger, an unlikely Irishman, born on this date in 1887.  Winner of the Nobel for physics in 1933 for the Schrödinger equation, he was one of the fathers of quantum mechanics and a friend of Einstein’s.  He left Germany in 1939 and accepted Eamon de Valera’s invitation to start an Institute of Advanced Studies in Dublin;  he stayed 17 years and became a naturalized citizen.

He is no doubt an icon of the scientific community, but to the rest of us he is best known for the paradox called ‘Schrodinger’s cat,’ an inexplicably popular metaphor he created to describe the essence of quantum theory.  Here it is:

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4 Comments »

  1. Ah, the fresh winds of discovery to lift us out of the August doldrums! A definite counter to the depressing news in Tuesday’s NY Times that only 4% of Americans could name a scientist in a recent poll! Augh! The poll winner was Einstein, of course, followed by “I don’t know”……

    Comment by Celia Carroll — August 12, 2011 @ 6:09 am | Reply

  2. quite incredible – do you have a link? how did they find a sample group of whom 96% hadn’t heard of newton? or benjamin franklin?

    Comment by jchatoff — August 12, 2011 @ 10:44 am | Reply

  3. I love it thank you. Just like life just keeps you geussing

    Comment by avery — August 12, 2011 @ 1:57 pm | Reply

  4. hahaha awesome cat vid! =^..^=

    Comment by ninachat — August 13, 2011 @ 12:17 am | Reply


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