Austria

The Fantastic and Visionary Worlds of Leo Perutz

The Fantastic and Visionary Worlds of Leo Perutz

On November 2, 1882, Austrian novelist and mathematician Leo Perutz was born. Perutz was a mathematician who formulated an algebraic equation which is named after him and worked as a statistician for an insurance company. He is best known as author of fantasy novels, which gained the admiration of Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, Ian Fleming, Karl Edward Wagner and Graham Greene. Early Life and Education Leo Perutz was born in Prague,…
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Around the World with Ida Pfeiffer

Around the World with Ida Pfeiffer

On October 28, 1858, Austrian traveler and travel book author Ida Laura Pfeiffer passed away. Pfeiffer was one of the first female explorers, whose popular books were translated into seven languages. On her voyages, she travelled more than 240.000 km by sea and 32.000 km on land over four continents. During her travels Ida Pfeiffer collected plants, insects, mollusks, marine life and mineral specimens. The Childhood of a Future Explorer Ida Pfeiffer was…
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Anna Freud following the Footsteps of her Father

Anna Freud following the Footsteps of her Father

On October 9, 1982, Austrian-British psychoanalyst Anna Freud passed away. The youngest child of Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud followed the path of her father and contributed to the field of psychoanalysis. Alongside Melanie Klein, she may be considered the founder of psychoanalytic child psychology. Compared to her father, her work emphasized the importance of the ego and its ability to be trained socially. The Daughter of Siegmund Freud Anna Freud was born on…
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Eugen Sänger and Rocket Propulsion Engineering

Eugen Sänger and Rocket Propulsion Engineering

On September 22, 1905, Austrian rocket propulsion engineer Eugen Sänger was born. Sänger is best known for his contributions to lifting body and ramjet technology. Sänger also perfected a “regeneratively cooled” liquid-fueled rocket engine that used its own fuel, circulating around the combustion chamber, to control engine temperatures. Eugen Sänger studied civil engineering at the Technical Universities of Graz and Vienna. During his years of study, Sänger was inspired by Hermann Oberth’s book Die Rakete zu…
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Bruno Bettelheim’s Work with Emotionally Disturbed Children

Bruno Bettelheim’s Work with Emotionally Disturbed Children

On August 28, 1903, Austrian-born American child psychologist and writer Bruno Bettelheim was born. The controversially discussed Bettelheim gained an international reputation for his work on Freud, psychoanalysis, and emotionally disturbed children. He was a revered author of influential clinical studies on the lives of autistic children as well as popular Freudian interpretations of myth and fairy tale; and founder of the Orthogenic School of psychoanalysis in Chicago. Youth and Education Bruno…
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Erwin Schrödinger and his Famous Thought Experiment

Erwin Schrödinger and his Famous Thought Experiment

On August 12, 1887, Austrian physicist and Nobel Laureate Erwin Schrödinger was born. Schrödinger developed a number of fundamental results in the field of quantum theory, which formed the basis of wave mechanics: he formulated the wave equation and revealed the identity of his development of the formalism and matrix mechanics. Schrödinger proposed an original interpretation of the physical meaning of the wave function. Although many of you are not physicists, you…
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The Venus of Willendorf and its Controversial Interpretation

The Venus of Willendorf and its Controversial Interpretation

On August 7, 1908, among railway construction work on the Donauuferbahn in Lower Austria, a lime stone figure was discovered, the Venus of Willendorf. The high statuette of a female figure estimated to have been made between about 28,000 and 25,000 BCE. The Willendorf Hamlet The Willendorf hamlet is located near today’s Aggsbach, a small wine-growing town in the Krems-Land district of Lower Austria. Wilendorf had already been known as a Palaeolithic…
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Gustav Mahler and the Modernism in Music

Gustav Mahler and the Modernism in Music

On July 7, 1860, Austrian late-Romantic composer Gustav Mahler was born. Mahler also was one of the leading conductors of his generation. As a composer he acted as a bridge between the 19th century Austro-German tradition and the modernism of the early 20th century. Gustav Mahler was born in Kaliště in Bohemia, then part of the Austrian Empire, now Czech Republic, as the 2nd of 14 children into a Jewish German-speaking family…
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The Cathartic Method of Josef Breuer

The Cathartic Method of Josef Breuer

On June 20, 1925, Austrian physician Josef Breuer passed away. Breuer made some of the key discoveries in neurophysiology. His work in the 1880s with a patient known as Anna O. developed the talking cure (cathartic method) and laid the foundation to psychoanalysis as developed by his protégé Sigmund Freud. Born in Vienna, his father, Leopold Breuer, taught religion in Vienna’s Jewish community. Breuer’s mother died when he was quite young, and…
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Johann Joachim Becher and the Phlogiston Theory of Combustion

Johann Joachim Becher and the Phlogiston Theory of Combustion

On May 6, 1636, German physician, alchemist, precursor of chemistry, scholar and adventurer Johann Joachim Becher was born. He is best known for his development of the phlogiston theory of combustion, in which all flammable objects were supposed to contain a substance which was released when the object burned, and his advancement of Austrian cameralism. “The chemists are a strange class of mortals, impelled by an almost insane impulse to seek their…
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