Nobel laureate Erwin Schroedinger's What is Life? is one of the great science classics of the twentieth century. It was written for the layman, but proved to be one of the spurs to the birth of molecular biology and the subsequent discovery of DNA. What is Life? appears here together with Mind and Matter, his essay investigating a relationship which has eluded and puzzled philosophers since the earliest times. Brought together with these two classics are Schroedinger's autobiographical sketches, which offer a fascinating account of his life as a background to his scientific writings.
Preface; 1. The classical physicist's approach to the subject; 2. The hereditary mechanism; 3. Mutations; 4. The quantum-mechanical evidence; 5. Delbruck's model discussed and tested; 6. Order, disorder and entropy; 7. Is life based on the laws of physics?; Epilogue: on determinism and free will; Mind and Matter: 1. The physical basis of consciousness; 2. The future of understanding; 3. The principle of objectivation; 4. The arithmetical paradox: the oneness of mind; 5. Science and religion; 6. The mystery of the sensual qualities; Autobiographical sketches (translated from the German by Schroedinger's granddaughter Verena).