The Mystery Of Schrödinger's Mistress That Inspired Quantum Mechanics... And

The mystery of Schrödinger’s mistress that inspired quantum mechanics… and not

The identity of the woman who would have played a fundamental role in the history of Physics has never been revealed.

Erwin Schrödinger

Erwin Schrödinger He is one of the fathers of Quantum theory, a part of physics that tells us things as surprising as that a particle – an electron for example – can be in several states or in several places at the same time. Yes, nothing to do with the real world, but don’t worry: there are those who say that no one just understands.

To show the paradoxes of quantum theory, the Austrian physicist devised a famous thought experiment consisting of put a cat in a closed box with a mechanism that releases a gas that kills the animal. The mechanism is activated when disintegrates an atom, but since this happens randomly and we don’t see what happens inside the box, quantum theory says that the cat can be dead and alive at the same time. The only way to verify this is by opening the receptacle, which modifies the conditions of the experiment.

Schrödinger developed the equation that bears his name in 1925. It comes to mathematically explain that world of particles smaller than the atom whose laws seem so far removed from our reality, the subatomic world. the spanish physicist Manuel Lozano Leyva says which is “the most beautiful and profound equation in history” and thanks to it the Viennese scientist won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933.

What is not clear is how did you come up with, although we find the clue in two letters he sent to Albert Einstein in which he comments that the inspiration came to him during the Christmas holidays he spent in the romantic hotel Arosa in Switzerland, in full Alps. Did in the company of a woman whose identity is completely unknown.

Who was that woman?

It is very curious that Schrödinger concealed precisely this affair, since his marriage to Anne Marie Bertel was open, so he couldn’t care less about a little additional scandal. She not only tolerated his adventures but participated in them. The physicist lived for years with his wife and a mistress, and had a daughter with each.

His strange love life closed many academic doors for him at the beginning of the 20th century, but despite everything, he had frequent love affairs with his students. When he went to live Dublin – ended up taking Irish nationality after going through Oxford, Madrid, Ghent and Rome fleeing from the Nazis – had two other daughters with two other women. While, Anne Marie did not cut a hair either and had an affair with Andre Weil, friend of Schrödinger.

maybe that marriage was also a bit quantum and aspired to be in several states at once. What we do not know is what role the lover who was by Schrödinger’s side played when he gave birth to his great contribution to the world of physics, if the inspiration would have been possible without her, if today quantum physics would be about to revolutionize technology –quantum computers will change everything– if it weren’t for a woman without a face or identity.