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on 24 February 2013
One word: Classic.

It's a classic of its time and a must read for anyone interested in how life works.

Many modern, almost timeless hypotheses are based on learnings and insights from this classic text.

If you're really interested: a must-read!
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on 24 February 2013
This is one of the greatest books of all time. It was an intellectual tour de force of almost unparalleled extent. It is the cornerstone of professor Brian Cox's television series, and spurred Crick and Watson to search for the structure of DNA. What more can be said!
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on 5 March 2013
Of historic interest .
A great physicist thinking about biology before the era of the double helix.
An interesting view of quantum theory for biologists
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on 27 August 2008
This is another great work of Erwin Schrodinger which gives an insight into the biology of life from a physicist's perspective that inspired scientists like; Francis Crick who discovered the structure of DNA, J.B.S. Haldane, and Roger Penrose. It is clear from this work and other books of Schrodinger that he was one of the few physicists who deeply thought of the inner most secrets of life. This book is divided into two parts: What's Life (7 chapters) and Mind and Matter (6 chapters).

The physicist's most dreaded weapon, the mathematical deduction can not be used for life because it is too complex to be accessible to equations. The orderliness required for the preservation of life does not come by the random heat motions of atoms and molecules, but statistical averages that provide order. Schrodinger asks a simple question; why is life made of so many atoms and not just a few. He offers three examples; higher magnetic fields, increase in molecular population and the error introduced into a reaction rate constant or any other physical parameter would be far too great if only few molecules are involved to form life. Hence orderliness, and of course evolution and diversity of life, requires very large population of molecules.

The world is a construct of our sensations, perceptions, memories; all existing objectively and all scientific knowledge is based on sense of perception and nonetheless the scientific views of material processes formed in this way lack all sensual qualities and can not account for the latter. Theories that are developed from scientific observations of experiments never account for sensual qualities. The sentient, percipient and thinking ego does not figure anywhere in our world picture, because it is itself the world picture. It is identified with the whole and not part of it. The physical world lacks all the sensual qualities that go to make the subject of cognizance. It is colorless, soundless, and impalpable. The world is deprived of everything that makes sense in its in relation to the consciously contemplating, perceiving, and feeling the subject; no personal god can form part of world model that has only became accessible at the cost of removing everything personal from it. God is missing from spacetime picture like sense of perception or ones own personality. Upanisads (Hindu Scripture) states that Atman = Brahman, the personal self equal the all comprehending eternal self. Consciousness never experienced in plural only in the singular, and plurality is merely a series of different aspect of one soul and one conscious produced by a deception (Maya). There is no multiplicity of minds; in reality and truth there is only one mind.

Before and after is not a quality of the world we perceive but pertains to the perceiving mind and don't imply the notion of space and time. After relativity, the notion of before and after reside on the cause and effect relationship. The general directedness of all happenings is explained by the mechanical or statistical theory of heat. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that order changes to disorder but not disorder to order, and time travels in one direction from past to future, but not future to past. The statistical theory of time has a stronger bearing on the philosophy of time than theory of relativity. The latter presupposes unidirectional flow of time while statistical theory constructs from order of events.

My body functions according to laws of nature, but I direct body motions. The word "I" means to state that I who control the motion of the atoms and molecules according to the Laws of Nature. The uncertainty principle and the lack of causal connection in nature introduce certain features into physical reality. For example, we can not make any factual statement about a physical system without interacting with it which would change the physical state of the system. This explains why no complete description of any physical object is ever possible. These laws have pushed the boundary between the subject and object. In fact subject and object are only one, and no barrier exists. It is the same element that goes to compose my mind and the world. The situation is the same for every mind and its world, in spite of the unfathomable abundance of cross references between them. The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived.

The last chapter gives brief autobiographical sketches of Schrodinger translated by his granddaughter. Schrödinger was deeply philosophical with strong family: He loved and respected his parents. His strong interest in physics and Vedanta philosophy (one of the six schools of Hindu Philosophy) is apparent, but he shy's away from writing about his complex personal life that involved many women and numerous extramarital affairs.

1. A Life of Erwin Schrodinger (Canto Original) (Canto original series)
2. Statistical Thermodynamics
3. 'Nature and the Greeks' and 'Science and Humanism' (Canto Original): AND Science and Humanism (Canto original series)
4. Space-Time Structure (Cambridge Science Classics) (Cambridge Science Classics)
5. Science and Humanism Physics in Our Time
6. Science and the Human Temperment.
7. My view of the world
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on 12 March 2013
The book arrived quickly and well packed. I purchased this book for my husband who has found the book very interesting and informative.
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on 9 March 2013
A challenging subject clearly explained. As an elderly person things I was taught at school now become clear. Fascinating read!
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on 17 December 2015
present for a friend so can't really say anything except it is what they wanted and enjoyed reading it
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on 28 February 2013
Purchased in a curious moment, but I'm afraid it is rather beyond me.
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on 19 November 2015
Interesting but writing style more like a lecture.
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on 11 August 2014
Written in a way that is understandable
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