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What is Life? (Canto)

What is Life? (Canto) [Kindle Edition]

Erwin Schrödinger , Roger Penrose
4.7 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (6 Kundenrezensionen)

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'This book is a gem with many facets … one can read it in a few hours; one will not forget it in a lifetime.' Scientific American

'Erwin Schrödinger, iconoclastic physicist, stood at the pivotal point of history when physics was the midwife of the new science of molecular biology. In these little books he set down, clearly and concisely, most of the great conceptual issues that confront the scientist who would attempt to unravel the mysteries of life. This combined volume should be compulsory reading for all students who are seriously concerned with truly deep issues of science.' Paul Davies

'… this remains a classic, written with great insight and modesty …' Human Nature Review

Über das Produkt

Nobel laureate Erwin Schrödinger's What is Life?, one of the great science classics of the twentieth century appears here together with Mind and Matter. Schrodinger asks what place consciousness occupies in the evolution of life, and what part the state of development of the human mind plays in moral questions.


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4.7 von 5 Sternen
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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen It's all there... 19. Dezember 2003
This beautiful little book was based on a sequence of popular lectures given in Dublin during WWII, and in turn on an earlier paper given in Vienna. In the book Schrödinger coins the idea of a genetic code carried by linear molecules with his phrase 'code-script'. He asks how, in the absence of validity of a large n limit required by statistical physics for the validity of any macroscopic biological laws, can the chromsome molecules that carry the code-script yield stable genetic rules. Then, he gives the answer: chemical bonding as predicted by quantum theory ala Heitler-London (Schrödinger identifies quantum jumps in the chrosomes as the origin of mutations, which are also discrete). He refers to the chromosome fibers as linear 'aperiodic crystals' (to emphase their stability in the face of thermal fluctuations) and encourages physicists to study them: he boldly asserts that both the instructions and mechanism for generating organisms via molecular replication are contained in the chromosome molecules (and there is where the "complexity" lies). This book encouraged physicists to study problems of complexity long before the term complexity had become the catchword that it is today. Indeed, our first ideas of 'complexity' were developed parallel in the same era by Turing and von Neumann.
Schrödinger is buried in Alpbach (Tirol), where he lectured and enjoyed the Alps frequently after WWII in a school organized by one of two brothers who, according to a very well-informed source, formed nearly the only Resistance in Austria during the war. On his grave is a pretty little plaque bearing the Schrödinger equation.
This review refers to the 1969 edition of 'What is Life'.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Scaled up quantum theory that tries... 20. Januar 2000
Von Ein Kunde
...and almost succeeds in uniting the dissimilar worlds of Biochemistry/cellular mechanics with the subatomic and atomic worlds. Undoubtedly if this book (series of essays/thoughts/lectures) had been written twenty years later, it would be quite different, but as is, it makes some startlingly accurate predictions about the nature of heredity in biological systems. This book is NOT 'quantum mechanics explains life', it is however, the masterwork of one of quantum theories brightest stars, relating the abstract world of subatomic particles to, well, DNA, before anyone knew what it did. Alas, for poor Schrodinger, probabalistic interpretation is much less useful at such a macroscopic level, and the mathematics behind even 'good approximations' of VERY SMALL macromolecules are nearly infinitely more complex than those for, say helium, which cannot be solved exactly (too many variables) itself. But he knew that already, and shows it here. But regardless of any 'after-the-fact' criticism, Schrodinger built something palpable and incredible out of scaling and deduction from the quantum level up. The fact that he struck so close to the mark speaks volumes for the man and for quantum theory in general. Biology is rather more difficult to quantify with wave equations than an alpha particle...not that Schrodinger attempts such an undertaking here, but the point should be understood as pertaining to his background, at least. At any rate, this book is probably not the most pedestrian work one could find on the subject, nor the easiest read. Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Great Book! 20. Juli 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
I just finished reading the first part "What is life". The second best science book I have read. The best is "Letter' s on Wave Mechanics" by Albert Einstein. Although I still don't understand why the Schrödinger equation is linear.
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