Science & Education

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 655–672 | Cite as

Erwin Schrödinger’s Poetry

Article

Abstract

Many of the major figures in the history of science have produced literary works, but the relationship between their poetic texts and their scientific work is often underestimated. This paper illuminates the poetry of Erwin Schrödinger—one of the premier figures in twentieth-century science, and an accomplished poet in both English and his native German. It discusses existing perceptions of his poetry and challenges the assumptions that his poetic work was a mere hobby unrelated to his other achievements by focusing on the interplay between poetic images and scientific ideas in his German-language poems. It emphasizes that more research is needed on the understated role of bilingualism and of—often marginalized—writing in an adopted language in science and in poetry, with the premise that this feature of Schrödinger’s life deserves more study. It argues that Schrödinger’s literary imagination and his bilingualism are an integral part of his approach to reality and considers Schrödinger’s literary work to be an important aspect of his intellectual heritage.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Massachusettes Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Büro Tzveta SofronievaBerlinGermany

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