The Strangest Man is the Costa Biography Award-winning account of Paul Dirac, the famous physicist sometimes called the British Einstein. He was one of the. In The Strangest Man, Graham Farmelo tries to get under the skin of one Paul Dirac: The man who conjured laws of nature from pure thought. “The purest soul” is a quotation about Dirac from Niels Bohr, as is Graham Farmelo’s title. (“Dirac is the strangest man,” Bohr said, “who ever.

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And he was very impressed with Ed Witten’s work…. Customers who viewed this item also viewed. It took significant time before his speculations could be confirmed in observations of cosmic rays at Caltech and then by his colleagues at the Cavendish Labs at Cambridge. And quantum mechanics, which is the most revolutionary theory of the 20th century, was developed, discovered by a handful of physicists, one of whom was Paul Dirac.

There were symptoms of being – that must be very controversial… Dr. April 29, at 2: At the University of Bristol Dirac studied engineering then switched to mathematics, his real love, and physics.

Farmelo thinks he was autistic.

The Strangest Man

Nonetheless, the account of Dirac’s formative years at Cambridge as a graduate student also his most productive ones when he laid the cornerstone of Quantum Mechanics along with Born, Schrodinger, Pascal, Heisenberg and Pauli was a motivating read specially for young grad students like me. An exceptionally well-written biography of one of the greatest physicists, Paul Dirac, one of the creators of quantum mechanics.

What will you be doing there?


This equation also turns out to play a fundamental role in mathematics, linking analysis, geometry and topology through the Atiyah-Singer index theorem. Such was it for Dirac. My quote is taken from a very good book: Dirac was a theorist, not an experimentalist. Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation. Fine, so quantum mechanics is a monumental achievements of human understanding.

Physicist Paul Dirac Is ‘The Strangest Man’

And can you describe what led him to predict its existence before it had been detected? Paul Dirac is a perfect example of being dira the right man for the job at just the right time in history. Farmelo reports the reaction Pierre Ramond got from Dirac in when he tried to sell him on the idea of replacing 4d QFT with a higher-dimensional theory: I really did not want to know the caus I’ve seen many nice reviews of this book and, inspired by the marvellous “Surely You’re Joking, Mr.

And if you’re not inclined in that direction, this book is the one you want.

The photograph is a record of the radiation given off in the electron-positron annihilations. It’s a great story, but it’s missing an important dimension.

The Strangest Man – Wikipedia

Well, I think we go back, you know, Dirac didn’t want public fame. It was intriguing to learn how certain aspects of the way we approach physics have been directly inherited from the past, as well as the many ways these ideas have evolved. I was wondering, why wasn’t he more recognized for his discovery of the anti-electron and other particles….

So he was really taking seriously this idea that mathematics should lead physics rather than experiment.

Physicist Paul Dirac Is ‘The Strangest Man’ : NPR

Paul Dirac won a Nobel prize mzn physics. Well, he won it for his contributions to quantum mechanics. Now, of course, you can’t go a day without benefiting from these insane, impossibly correct ideas. But most physicists think that one day it will be discovered. Temple Grandin, herself autistic, has repeatedly made the mistake of assuming that all autistic minds work in exactly the same way.


What would surely have impressed Dirac stranngest that modern string theory has none of the infinities he abhorred. He wasn’t in the game of physics to do just fancy mathematics. I really did not want to know the causes of deaths of all these great physicists and to read about their relationships with wives and non-wives.

Yes, he was a Professor of theoretical physics working in a notoriously abstract, abstruse and just plain difficult field quantum mechanics that you may feel has nothing to do with your daily life – but you would be wrong if you think that. I found that a times sigma sub x plus b times sigma sub y plus c times sigma sub z — quantity squared — was a squared plus b squared plus c squared, and I marveled at the beauty of this result.

Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. But I knew that Paul Dirac was a “strange bird”, and that his father was a control freak who seriously damaged his son’s mental state during his formative years. I rate this a top shelf biography.

This biography provides vivid insights not only into the life and personality of the Nobel-prize co-winner P.