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Erwin Schrodinger typed letter signed, with lengthy and interesting scientific content regarding exponential decay, spectral lines and more, as well as political content indirectly criticizing the ''adored Duce'' Benito Mussolini (''I do not like helping people celebrate their own great men''). Letter is dated 3 September 1927, just one year after the Schrodinger equation was published, one of the founding tenets of quantum theory and the basis for Schrodinger's Nobel Prize in 1933. Schrodinger begins his letter with the announcement that he's leaving the University of Zurich for the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin, where he would work with Albert Einstein for several years, before leaving Germany in 1933. Translated from German, letter reads in full,

''Please forgive me for taking so long to answer your kind letter from Mittenwald dated 08/07. The entire interim period here in Zurich was filled with lively negotiations even though, for some time, I had been under the impression that they would end up being fruitless. You see, the whole time the discussion covered - in great detail - only what the university and the technical college would expect me to do, whereas the vice versa was brought up rather late in the game. Yet I continued with this for as long as possible, sensing that my current superior authority at the university sincerely and vigorously wished to keep me here. Nevertheless, the available resources here are limited by their very nature. At the other site in [handwritten] Zurich however (where the means would be available), the desire to retain me has cooled down, I have no idea why. - Thus, the decision has been made. I can well say that now, as it has been decided, I am really pleased to be going to Berlin. The people there made every conceivable accommodation for me. I could see that they really wanted me there, and that is a very pleasant feeling after all.

We are planning to go south for a while, around the middle or end of next week, i.e., between the 7th and the 11th, to the area around Lugano or Locarno to enjoy the sun and a true vacation. I am still a bit weary, even though I have not worked on anything during the past weeks. Afterwards, unfortunately, I will still have to go back to Zurich once more to write the report for the Solvay Conference. This may drag on until the end of September. [handwritten at bottom of page] I am not going to Kissingen. I do not know whether I will have to be in Berlin in the flesh by the first of October to assume my office officially, but I hope not, since it is still vacation time after all. (It is not quite certain that they will release me here by the first of October; they do not have to, but I hope they will be decent enough to do so.) So this is how things stand concerning whether I might still be able to accept your kind invitation to come to Mittenwald. I do not know if this would still be convenient for you at such a late time (early October), or if you will even be there. But unfortunately I cannot say for certain whether it will be really possible then. Therefore, of course, you must not postpone your own arrangements in any way, nor should you make any allowances for us in your home since, after all, you might expect other visitors. In that case, we would simply rent a room somewhere; there will be plenty of rooms available at that time.

Your reasons to avoid Como are essentially the same as my own. One would most assuredly hear things that one would not want to hear. I do not like helping people celebrate their own great men, since their adored Duce said of Walther von der Vogelweide, 'We value his poetry, even though it is just mediocre,' (or something like that).

I was very glad to hear that the exponential decay is now ascertained completely. This really precludes all previous objections, and it shows that at this time the decay is not yet covered by theory. It is touching, how little this disturbs most people. They generally pretend that the theory of 'transition probabilities' is completely assured. - By the way, [Walther] Gerlach told me that he found very strange things about the influence of gas addition on line intensities, which do not at all fit into the generally accepted scheme. It is very difficult, of course, to create clear experimental conditions, one can never control just one level by itself, but invariably all of them are affected, one does not know exactly how.

I find the experiments by [Hans] Butler with [Rudolf] Ladenburg, briefly reported on in the Naturwissenschaften [The Science of Nature], extremely interesting: When Na is indirectly excited by excited Hg ('sensitized fluorescence'), the intensity distribution among the Na lines is completely changed in such a way, in fact, that those 'elevations', for which the entire Hg energy is needed, are induced most strongly on the Na atoms, whereas those Na elevations that are much smaller than the available energy of the excited Hg atoms occur more rarely. This is similar to what happens with excitation by electron impact, a sort of resonance phenomenon. However, the term 'resonance phenomenon' will have to be split in two. For, in a certain sense, according to the wave concept, each such energy transfer is an exact resonance phenomenon, e.g., in the case of the electron impact:

(The frequency of the impacting electron before the impact) minus
(the excitation energy transferred to the atom) is equal to
(the frequency of the electron after the impact).

Instead of 'excitation energy transferred to the atom,' I really should have written, difference of the natural frequencies of the atom in the higher state minus those in the lower state. Thus, every 'energy balance' is transformed into an equation of two frequency differences. This is one meaning of the word resonance. In addition to this, those processes are now extremely favored for which the right side of the above equation is as small as possible, i.e., as close as possible to the resting frequency. This preference forms the second meaning of the word resonance. In the first mentioned case, those transitions are strongly favored, where the ''translation frequency'' of the center of gravity of the impacting atomic pair after the impact is as small as possible.

With the warmest greetings and recommendations from house to house, esteemed Privy Councilor, I remain
Your sincerely devoted / E. Schrodinger''. Two page letter on two sheets bears Schrodinger's stamp on first page. Measures 8.625'' x 11''. Folds and light creasing, overall near fine.
Erwin Schrodinger Lengthy Letter Signed From 1927, One Year After He Published the Schrodinger Equation, for Which He Won the Nobel PrizeErwin Schrodinger Lengthy Letter Signed From 1927, One Year After He Published the Schrodinger Equation, for Which He Won the Nobel PrizeErwin Schrodinger Lengthy Letter Signed From 1927, One Year After He Published the Schrodinger Equation, for Which He Won the Nobel PrizeErwin Schrodinger Lengthy Letter Signed From 1927, One Year After He Published the Schrodinger Equation, for Which He Won the Nobel Prize
Erwin Schrodinger Lengthy Letter Signed From 1927, One Year After He Published the Schrodinger Equation, for Which He Won the Nobel Prize
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Auction closed on Thursday, October 29, 2020.
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