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Viennese girlfriend and two pearls That Caused Schrödinger to Figure out Wave Mechanics

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A few days before Christmas, 1925, Erwin Schrödinger, a Viennese-born professor of physics at the University of Zurich, took off for a two-and-a-half-week vacation at a villa in the Swiss Alpine town of Arosa. Leaving his wife in Zurich, he took along de Broglie’s thesis, an old Viennese girlfriend (whose identity remains a mystery) and two pearls. Placing a pearl in each ear to screen out any distracting noise, and the woman in bed for inspiration, Schrodinger set to work on wave mechanics. When he and the mystery lady emerged from the rigors of their holiday on Jan. 9, 1926, the great discovery was firmly in hand.

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