Wave Mechanics, A Love Story

 
9780978432102: Wave Mechanics, A Love Story
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Just before Christmas 1925, the Austrian physicist -and later Nobel winner- Erwin Schroedinger took an unknown young woman on holiday to the Swiss town of Arosa. On Jan. 9th, when he returned, Schroedinger had the key to the theory that won him the Nobel and would revolutionarize 20th century science. The novel imagines what happened in Arosa, and along the way we learn a great deal about the relations between Sex ans Science.

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About the Author:

Ricardo L. Nirenberg: Essayist. Novelist and short story writer. Mathematician. Philosopher and critic of the higher stupidity. Editor, Offcourse Literary Journal

Review:

A brief Google search reveals that I am, quite possibly, the first reviewer (at least in an online venue) to essay Ricardo L. Nirenberg s exquisite 2007 novel Wave Mechanics, which addresses the circumstances surrounding the creation/discovery of physicist Erwin Schroedinger s wave equation in 1926, a discovery that substantially altered the landscape of Western physics and chemistry in the last century, along with Werner Heisenberg s Uncertainty Principle which some readers may note are more or less mathematically identical. Although I would normally approach such a prospect with excitement, in this case I do so with some trepidation. My educational background in physics and chemistry extends no further than the undergraduate level and the freshman level at that. So the possibility of my having poorly understood or entirely missed Nirenberg s specific meditations upon physics, time and the movements of electrons (and what these mean for humanity), and his incorporation of these ideas into Wave Mechanics is so high as to be guaranteed. This review, then, should probably be taken as incomplete, albeit enthusiastic. I say enthusiastic for two reasons. First because Nirenberg has taken pity on readers like me: although Wave Mechanics is probably best appreciated by those with more than cursory knowledge of quantum mechanics, the novel s narration provides a basic roadmap for stragglers. Second because Wave Mechanics is just one hell of a complicated, smart, sexy, and all-around good story. Wave Mechanics is an epistolary novel framed by an intriguing device. At the beginning, an anonymous translator explains that she and a friend discovered carbon copies of the following letters being used as packing material in a Venetian mirror shop. The missives comprise a powerful and often recriminatory testimony written between 1989 and 1990 by the Countess Morosini, a brilliant mathematician and physicist, to her daughter, a nun named Annunziata who long ago dismissed her scientifically-minded mother as a depraved atheist and hedonist. Nearing the end of her life, the Countess states that she seeks neither forgiveness nor understanding from a daughter she considers stupid, superstitious, and ungrateful, enthralled with the memory of her pious, departed father. Rather, the Countess writes: This should be my justification, my apology, the first full occasion for me to systemize and communicate the poetry of my life, my truth. This is about my own call, my annunciation, my Verkundigung. Although the Countess disdains Christianity, she writes with fervor bordering on the religious about her pursuit of science and truth, and about the love of her life, Erwin Schrödinger. After meeting the physicist after one of his lectures on Color Theory and Geometry, the soon-to-be Countess (then a 19-year-old, engaged student) and the married Schrödinger enter into a passionate love affair that culminates in a Christmas holiday at Arosa, a Swiss ski resort. Historically, Schrödinger did spend Christmas of 1925 at this resort with an unnamed girlfriend and emerged shortly after the Feast of Epiphany with his wave theory in hand. The bulk of the Countess s letters recount that glorious weekend, in which passionate love-making literally gave rise to wave theory: Here is how the world-shattering discovery happened...My lover and I were working hard at love as hard as hard can be when the idea came to my mind: What we had here was a harmonic oscillator, and the secret technique of adjusting our delight to each other was what in math is called an eigenvalue problem! (More...) --ThePedestalMagazine.com/archives/issue52/reviews

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Ricardo L. Nirenberg
Published by Blaurock Press (2007)
ISBN 10: 097843210X ISBN 13: 9780978432102
Used Soft cover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
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CARDINAL BOOKS ~~ ABAC/ILAB
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Book Description Blaurock Press, 2007. Soft cover. Condition: As New. 1st Edition. Softcover, with colour plate set to front. Clean, tight and unmarked -- as new! Size: 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Book. Seller Inventory # 58124n61

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