Paul Dirac: The Man and his Work

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Overview

Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac was one of the founders of quantum theory. He is numbered alongside Newton, Maxwell and Einstein as one of the greatest physicists of all time. Together the lectures in this volume, originally presented on the occasion of the dedication ceremony for a plaque honoring Dirac in Westminster Abbey, give a unique insight into the relationship between Dirac's character and his scientific achievements. The text begins with the dedication address given by Stephen Hawking at the ceremony. Then Abraham Pais describes Dirac as a person and his approach to his work. Maurice Jacob explains how Dirac was led to introduce the concept of antimatter, and its central role in modern particle physics and cosmology. This is followed by David Olive's account of the origin and enduring influence of Dirac's work on magnetic monopoles. Finally, Sir Michael Atiyah explains the deep and widespread significance of the Dirac equation in mathematics.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Readers will gain insight into Dirac's love of the beauty of nature, his interest in mountain climbing, his approach to mathematical physics, and his emphasis on beauty and simplicity." Optics & Photonoics News

"The overall thrust of the book is to increase the recognition of a brilliant theoretical physicist, whose solitary work habits and retiring manner have allowed him to be relatively neglected when compared with many of the other giants of 20th-century physics." Choice

"This small volume of four lectures delivered in Westminster Abbey during the dedication of a plaque in Dirac's honor captures the relation between his personality and his science via a mosaic of historical recollections and scientific reviews." American Scientist

"...this book is a...gem of an introduction...." Notices of the AMS

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521583824
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface Peter Goddard; Dirac memorial address Stephen Hawking; 1. Paul Dirac: aspects of his life and work Abraham Pais; 2. Antimatter Maurice Jacob; 3. The monopole David Olive; 4. The Dirac equation and geometry Michael F. Atiyah.
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