Chronotype in the history of physics

23 Jan

Recently, I have developed an interest in the cognitive effects of individual differences in chronotype. It occurred to me that it might be worth collecting data on the chronotype of famous individuals, perhaps for historiometric analysis.

As it happens, I have been reading Miller’s study of the collaboration between physicist  Wolfgang Pauli and Carl Jung where I encountered these observations:

On Pauli:

“He was never up before midday.” (p. 19)

“It soon became impossible for him to make it to Sommerfeld’s morning lectures, which began at 9:00 am. Instead Pauli took to dropping in at noon to check the blackboard to see what the topic had been so he could work it out himself.”

About Max Born and Pauli:

“Born was an early riser, Pauli far from that, especially after late nights working” (p.  38)

On Heisenberg and Pauli:

“Heisenberg complained that no one went to bed before 1 P.M. Pauli of course was in his element.” (p. 40)

Research suggests that chronotype correlates with important real world outcomes. It would be interesting to collect a data base of chronotype information on famous individuals and compare it to biographical details.

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