Maybe not as famous as that famous cat, Erwin Schrödinger was a Nobel Prize-winning Austrian physicist whose groundbreaking wave equation moved quantum theory from the margins to the mainstream in scientific inquiry. Born in 1887 AD in Vienna, Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger was home-schooled until he turned 11 years old, when he began classes at the prestigious Akademisches Gymnasium. By 1910, he had obtained his PhD in physics from the University of Vienna. Drafted into the military in 1914, Erwin spent WW1 as an artillery officer on the Italian Front.
Erwin took on professorial duties at the University of Stuttgart, University of Jena, and University of Breslau before joining the faculty of the University of Zurich. Stumbling upon a theory of wave mechanics proposed by physicist Louis de Broglie, Schrödinger published a revolutionary paper – the first of several – explaining that an electron in an atom would move as a wave rather than a particle. That paper became a cornerstone of quantum theory. Moving to the University of Berlin, Schrödinger continued his innovative work … until he fled to the hallowed halls of Oxford University in protest of Nazi anti-Semitism in 1933.
Over the next few years, he would teach briefly at various schools around the world before being invited by the Irish Prime Minister de Valera in 1939 to head the School of Theoretical Physics at the Institute for Advanced studies in Dublin; he would remain there until retirement in 1956, when he returned to Vienna. Erwin spent his last years writing, melding his views on a variety of subjects with his quantum perspective in several books, including the problem of unifying gravitation and electromagnetism which had absorbed Einstein’s attention (and remains unresolved). And explaining the conundrum of Schrödinger's Cat. He died in 1961 in Vienna.