Long hailed as one of the fathers of quantum physics, celebrated physicist Erwin Schrödinger is now being reevaluated after damning evidence was published that shows that the scientist was a pedophile and serial “sexual predator.”
Schrödinger, a Nobel Prize-winning Austrian-Irish scientist remembered for his 1935 thought experiment “Schrödinger’s Cat,” was exposed as a pedophile by The Irish Times in a December report detailing his unapologetic record as a serial abuser of young girls and women.
Since the report’s publication, academics and faculties across the globe have been distancing themselves from the physicist and launching petitions to remove his name from their facilities.
The physicist made foundational contributions to quantum theory and is largely responsible for the current craze for quantum computing, but his extracurricular activities have been exposed as being fundamentally exploitative and abusive toward girls and women.
According to 2012 biography Erwin Schrödinger and the Quantum Revolution by John Gribbin, which the Irish Times cited, the physicist became preoccupied with, and groomed, a 14-year-old girl named Itha Junger after becoming her math tutor. Schrödinger, who was middle-aged at the time, impregnated her when she was 17.
That year, Junger became pregnant and resorted to a horrific abortion that left her sterile, leaving the relationship in tatters.
The physicist also kept a record of his sexual exploits, which included being “infatuated” with a 12-year-old girl named Barbara. He only relented from pursuing the child after her family members protested. He later wrote in his diaries that the child was “among the unrequited loves of his life”.
Schrödinger, Life and Thought author Walter Moore noted that the physicist’s scummy attitude towards women “was essentially that of a male supremacist.”
Students and lecturers are now rejecting the scientist. In his adopted country, Ireland, a petition has been launched to change the title of a facility at Dublin’s Trinity University that’s named after him.
“It seems in bad taste that a modern college such as Trinity – one that holds lectures to both men and women, one that (hopefully) rejects the abuse of women, of young girls or, indeed, of anyone – would honour this man with an entire building,” the petition reads.
“We can acknowledge the great mark Schrodinger has left on science through our study, and this petition does not wish to diminish the impact his lectures or ideas had in physics.”
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