Foundations of Physics

, Volume 17, Issue 11, pp 1113–1130 | Cite as

Erwin Schrödinger's views on gravitational physics during his last years at the University of Vienna and some research ensuing from it

  • Leopold Halpern
Part I. Invited Papers Commemorating the Centenary of the Birth of Erwin Schrödinged


The author, who was Schrödinger's assistant during his last years in Vienna, gives an account of Schrödinger's views and activities during that time which lead him to a different approach to research on the relations between gravitation and quantum phenomena. Various features of past research are outlined in nontechnical terms. A heuristic argument is presented for the role of the zero-point energy of massive particles in counteracting gravitational collapse and the formation of horizons. Arguments are presented for the view that progress in describing extreme gravitational phenomena can be achieved by the new outlook obtained from the introduction of the analog of Maxwell's vacuum displacement term with a quasiconstant parameter, rather than from renormalization of special processes, even if this is successful. The results can be expected to be in accord with Schrödinger's conjectures.

A physical interpretation for the change of sign of the differential invariant of Karlhede, Lindström, and Åman at the horizon is suggested.

Some important historical details about Schrödinger are touched upon.


Past Research Special Process Massive Particle Physical Interpretation Erwin 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leopold Halpern
    • 1
  1. 1.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadena

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