Erwin Schrödinger's Vienna
Austrian currency (about $100).
Photo from AIP Emilo Segre Archive.
Bust at the Univ. of Vienna.
- I heard about his hydrogen wave function from
in 1956 when I was in my junior (3rd) year at
Carnegie Tech. In
my senior year, I took the first-year quantum mechanics from
Michel Baranger. I learned
from him that the energy levels for bound states are discrete because
their wave functions should satisfy the localization boundary condition.
In the 1960s, bound states were coming from poles from the S matrix, it was illegal to say otherwise. How about bound-state perturbation theory? Of course, it is a small displacement of the pole position. However, I still needed wave functions to understand this.
- I made my debut in the physics world as an independent thinker by making a
case about it. The question is whether the displacement of the pole
position preserves the wave function localization. I showed that
the bound-state wave function from a displaced pole position is not
localized and thus becomes a bad wave function.
You may click here for
a detailed story. In 1967, Geoffrey Chew echoed a smiliar view in
Phys. Rev. Letters.
- In order to discredit what I say, some responsible people said the
wave function has nothing to do with physics. This was of course an
idiotic statement, but genius can learn something from idiot while
idiot cannot learn anything from genius. I carefully studied whether
there is anything wrong with wave functions.
- Yes! There was one important unsolved problem. How would the above
"good" and "bad" wave functions look to my friend on a train where space
and time variables are mixed? Is the wave function localization
(standing wave) consistent with Einstein's Lorentz covariance?
How can he/she explain what I do in terms of the language available
in his/her frame. You may
click here for illustrations.
I could not solve this problem for all the wave functions on earth, but could provide a satisfactory answer for one case, namely that of harmonic oscillator wave functions. In so doing, I was able to explain the quark model and the parton model are two limiting cases of one covariant entity. You may click here for a detailed story. I have been working on this problem with Marilyn Noz since 1970 (nearly 40 years).
at the Univ. of Vienna.
Feynman talks about entropy in his book on statistical mechanics. Feynman says
When we solve a quantum-mechanical problem, what we really do is divide the universe into two parts - the system in which we are interested and the rest of the universe. We then usually act as if the system in which we are interested comprised the entire universe. To motivate the use of density matrices, let us see what happens when we include the part of the universe outside the system.
Do you understand what he says? The best way to decode what Feynman says is to work out his ideas. It is always fun to examine Feynman's provocative statement. You may click here to see what Feynman was talking about.
- You might also be interested in hearing about what I discussed with
Eugene Wigner on this issue. Wigner was wondering whether Entropy could
be a variable having to do with Lorentz transformations. I was able to
entertain him by telling the story based on my experience with harmonic
oscillators and Feynman's rest of
the universe. Here is a paper
which I published with Wigner on this subject.
The portrait of a woman holding her infant son plays the pivotal role in the western religion called Christianity. With this point in mind, I have constructed a webpage consisting of relevant photos.
About 2,500 years ago, a Chinese scholar named Sun Tzu wrote a book entitled Art of War. My maternal grandfather was able to read his book in Chinese and told me stories about what Sun Tzu said.
After learning about Freud, I came to the conclusion that Sun Tzu formulated a psychology based on man's desire to fight and win. This means that I am armed with Sun Tzu's psychology to fight and win. This is the reason why I was able to ward off the shady games some of my colleagues attempted to play against me in the past.
In addition, I have a strong Christian background. By combining the story about the birth of Jesus with Sun Tzu's psychology, I was able to formulate the concept of Herod Complex. If you are a physicist, you are burdened to carry your herod complex.
- Victor Weisskopf (1908-2002) was born in Vienna but went to Germany
to study. He came to the United States before World War II and worked
on the Manhattan project developing the first nuclear bomb. While in
Europe, he worked with Schrödinger, Heisenberg, Pauli, and Bohr. His
dissertation advisor was Eugene Wigner at the Technical University of
Berlin. After World War II, he became an important person at MIT, and
was also one of the founding members of CERN. Yet, he always called
himself as a Viennese physicist. Vienna was dearest to his heart.
I only have limited contacts with him, but he was always like my uncle. He was three years older than my father. When I was hosting the first Wigner Symposium in 1988, I invited him to deliver a banquet speech. Here is a photo of Weisskopf speaking at the banquet.
In this photo, Weisskopf is very happy to listen to Wigner's speech. I was able to arrange a photo of Wigner with his first student (Weisskopf) and his youngest student (Francis Narcowich). Here is the photo.
I met Weisskopf for the last time in 1997 at MIT. I shared a banquet table with him and also with Francis Low. He was very weak and showing a sign of his age, and was not able to eat much. He was talking about the struggles he went through. Yet, he was very proud of being a Viennese physicist.
- There is another Viennese physicist whose name is quite familiar to
us. You can recognize who he is from this photo.
Whenever you attend a conference on quantum optics, quantum information,
or foundations of quantum mechanics, he is a plenary speaker. Like
Weisskopf, he is very approachable, and it is very easy to have a photo
I have a strange habit of talking to everybody in restaurants, hotels, shops, or on the streets. When I talk in Vienna, those Austrians ask me where I came from. When I say U.S.A., they ask me whether I know Arnold Schwarzenegger came from Austria. They ask me where I originally came from. I then point to the Samsung sign visible everywhere in the world.
They then ask me what my profession is. Then I show them this photo. I also become an important person to them. I hope I can make a webpage for him in the near future.
Vienna, AustriaVienna is known as a great music city. Many musicians made their names in this city. There are many music halls, and you should enjoy music while in this city. Let us look at some photos.
- Vienna State Opera House
has a very rich history. On December 31 of every year,
the Opera House presents Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus. You
have to reserve your ticket one year in advance. Of course
you can negotiate tickets at black market for about $300, but I
do not trust those black marketers. I was there on December 31
(2006) but could not get in.
- Coppelia. After the performance of Coppelia by Leo Delibes (2007).
- Higher Rings seen from an orchestra seat.
- Musikverein (2007).
The New year's waltz concert is held at this music hall every year
and is broadcast throughout the world.
- I was inside in October of 2007 for a Mozart festival.
- Johann Strauss Theater
in Vienna (2007).
- I was inside for a Mozart Festival ten years earlier (1997).
- Vienna's Schonbrunn Palace
serves as a museum for the people who believe in good life. It of
course has its own music hall. It is relatively easy to get the
ticket for its New Year's Eve concert.
- New Year's Eve concert at the Schonbrunn Palace.
- Mozart Dress in the back of the Schonbrunn concert hall.
is a Viennese restaurant serving Viennese dishes. I was there in 2000
and shared a dinner table from Germans from Munich. I was returning
home from a conference held in Kharkov (Ukraine). Due to airline
connections, I have to spend one night in Vienna.
- In 2006, I went there again, and asked the same accordionist to play "Over the Waves" by a Mexican composer named Juventano Rosas. This is a non-Viennese waltz, but he knew how to play. I was very happy because it was my childhood favorite.
- Vienna McDonald's near the campus of the University of Vienna.
- Nordsee. There are many Nordsee restaurants in Vienna, and you can meet many interesting people. In this photo, I am with students from Croatia.
- Viennese Lunch. There are many sidewalk cafes, and you can taste Viennese dishes at a reasonable price.
- New Year's Eve Dinner at the resaurant Prachutta (December 31, 2006).
- St. Stephen's Cathedral.
Vienna's address No. 1. Vienna is not a large city.
Every place is within a walking distance from this Cathedral.
We thank Peter Kasperkovitz for contributing this excellent
photo taken from the highest point at the Technical University
- Schonbrunn Palace is a very imporatant landmark for Austria and Europe. Here is the Wikipedia page about this palace.
- One of the Habsburg Palaces. Vienna has a righ history, and there are many interesting buildings.
- One of the government buildings in Palladian style.
- Greek Temple at the
Volsksgarten. Viennese seem to be in love with Greek
Emperor Franz Joseph (1830-1916) believed in Greek
- Woman Columns like these can be seen at many places. They are copied from the original Greek columns on the Akropolis Hill in Athens constrcted 2,400 years ago.
- Congress Building. You cannot tell this is a governmnent building for Greece or Austria.
- Greek Columns inside the Congress building.
- Greek-style Podium in one of the assembly halls.
- Greek Wall in the back of the hall.
I have many more photos to add to thie webpage. Please come again.
Y. S. Kim (December 2008)
copyright@2008 by Y. S. Kim, unless otherwise specified.
- Vienna State Opera House has a very rich history. On December 31 of every year, the Opera House presents Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus. You have to reserve your ticket one year in advance. Of course you can negotiate tickets at black market for about $300, but I do not trust those black marketers. I was there on December 31 (2006) but could not get in.