Nov. 4, 2006: The film “Gloomy Sunday” … related to physicists ~ Schrodinger/Weyl sharing the same woman

An email written on Nov. 4, 2006:


Even though you didn’t respond to my previous movie reviews (not a complaint but just an observation), I’m sending another (short) one … plus something related to physicists …

First, let me recommend the German film with the English title “Gloomy Sunday” (with English subtitle).  The interesting story happened in Budapest before and after the 2nd World War in which two good guys fell in love with the same woman. The interesting part is that two guys were willing to share the same woman.  There was a scene in which 2 guys and the woman were lying on the grass and the 2 guys were intimately touching/attaching themselves to the woman from 2 sides.   It’s a very intriguing scene, both visually and emotionally.  That woman kind of slept with one of them on different night.

Of course, the movie on the romantic background of Budapest was not just that but that’s the UNUSUAL part.  One of these 2 guys was a Jewish restaurant owner and of course had problem during the German occupation.  The other guy was a pianist who worked in the same restaurant as the Jewish guy and the woman.  The pianist actually composed a beautiful song which became famous but got many people to commit suicide 🙂 🙂  There was the 3rd German guy who later became a Nazi soldier and also loved that woman — though this time that woman didn’t love him 🙂

It’s a story with some unusual romance but also a lot of historical backgrounds making it more appealing.  Not every typical European film makes you feel European but this one does, elegance with occassionally and appropriately filled with simple philosophical and interesting conversations.  The story at the end has had a couple twists which is related to how it began in an unexpected way.

I’ve for the 1st time learnt the French clause “Apres nous, le deluge” … and they modified it to “Apres le deluge, nous/tu” … Interesting …


This movie somehow reminded me of the book that I’m reading “Not even wrong” by Peter Woit (Columbia U.).  He’s attacking superstring theory from various angles … but what I wanted to mention was his remarks about the physicists.   The most interesting one (that I’ve never heard of) was about the women of Schrodinger (one of Quantum Mechanics godfathers) and Weyl.  Peter somehow regards Weyl highly — that Dirac was one of the few people who understood Einstein but had problem in understanding Weyl’s mathematical formulation.  Weyl’s stuff (Group Representation applying to physics) has given a lot of trouble to the most intelligent physicists such as Schrodinger and Heisenberg !

It’s said that Schrodinger stayed with a girlfriend in a mountain in Vienna while working on what was to become known as the Schrodinger Equation.   His wife knew about this but was OK with it.  Why ?  Because she has a lover who is Weyl !  Schrodinger and Weyl were the closest friends and Weyl advised Schrodinger on many mathematical aspects.  … the birth of quantum mechanics was an more intimate … so intimate that they shared the same woman !

I finally went to Google a bit today about this and this seems quite true.  Schrodinger was certainly not a monogamist.   He offered an assistant job to a guy only because he was in love with that guy’s wife Hilde.  He was with Hilde and his wife in Oxford for some years — which was also the time that he got the Nobel Prize.  Hilde gave birth to one of his babies.  In Oxford, he kind of publicly had 2 wives (I guess sexually/functionally but not on paper) and one of them was somebody’s wife.   This probably didn’t go down too well in Oxford 🙂  He later spent a few years in Ireland which resulted in 2 more daughters with 2 different women … At the end, he had 4 daughters to 4 different women.

It just sort of sounds “right”.  When I was in Oxford, most physics faculties around me had either divorced or had some kinds of marriage problems …  Since I started to pick summer students (2 years so far), both were women student (from colleges).  I was wondering whether I should change sex next year as I’m a bit worried whether my colleagues would notice my students’ “sex pattern” and start to gossip a bit  Now knowing Schrodinger’s hiring an assistant for loving his wife made me feel a bit less worried  Especially I’ve been completely professional about it … in fact I probably should have spent a bit more time to take care of them  🙂  It’s just partly a coincidence that I had picked girls and partly because I somehow felt that the girls would be more patient in doing what I wanted to do.


About kinyip

An experimental particle physicist ...
This entry was posted in Hobbies. Bookmark the permalink.