Schrödinger's cat - and other tales
Sir, – I very much enjoyed Cormac O’Raifeartaigh’s piece on the Austrian Nobel Laureate Erwin Schrödinger (An Irishman’s Diary, July 9th) .
It reminded me of my late mother’s story from the days of the setting up of the Institute for Advanced Studies in 1940 and the appointment of Erwin Schrödinger as its first director.
My mother, Mary Clifton, was secretary to the Minister for Education (at that time Éamon de Valera). The Minister was expecting Herr Schrödinger at 10am one day.
Time passed and, as there was no sign of the gentleman, my mother went downstairs to the hall.
A middle-aged, rather shabbily-dressed man was sitting quietly on a bench.
On inquiring from the porter who this person was, she was told: “Just some old fella saying he wants to speak to the Minister” . – Yours, etc,