The dawn of quantum mechanics was riddled with doubt. It was not only outcomes that were suddenly rendered uncertain; the very nature of familiar objects was called into question. Objects like electrons. As Oskar writes in his letter to Anna,
Everyone struggled to make sense of this unexpected universe we had unknowingly inhabited for so long. One of the best expressions of intellectual frustration came from Cambridge University, in the form of an anonymous poem some students tacked on the walls of Cavendish lab. It was a “petition” made by electrons desperate to be set free from the “dread uncertainty” of the “hated quantum view.” They lamented the loss of the “smooth-flowing” time when all they had to do was follow the classical equations, and they bemoaned the sudden identity crisis they found themselves in, no longer knowing if they were particles or waves or a “jelly sort of phi,” or even if they were real at all, “or where we are or why.”
Well over a decade after that letter was written, Schrodinger delivered a lecture about electrons. I find it interesting both for its content, and because it affords me the opportunity to hear this (slightly) "older Austrian virtuoso" in action.