Erwin Schrödinger (1887–1961) was born in Vienna, Austria. He was homeschooled by his parents and tutors until the age of 11, when he attended the academic Gymnasium in Vienna. His early interests included Latin and Greek grammar, German poetry, and science. In 1906, he enrolled at the University of Vienna, where he began to attend lectures on theoretical physics given by Friedrich Hasenöhrl, the successor of Ludwig Boltzmann. After receiving his doctoral degree in 1910, he became an assistant to Franz Exner and supervised physics laboratory courses. After serving as an artillery office in World War I, he pursued an academic career. In 1920, he took a position as assistant to Max Wien, then served as an extraordinary professor at Stuttgart and an ordinary professor at Breslau before replacing von Laue at the University of Zurich.
While at Zurich, Schrödinger published much of his most famous work, including theoretical papers on the specific heat of solids, thermodynamics, atomic spectra, and the foundation of quantum mechanics. Indeed Schrödinger is known as one of the primary architects of modern quantum theory. The reading selection that follows is the lecture delivered by Schrödinger in 1933 upon receiving the Nobel Prize in physics.