P.A.M. Dirac.b. Aug. 8, 1902, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England.
d. Oct. 20, 1984, Tallahassee, Florida, United States.
Shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933 with Erwin Schrodinger
While Werner Heisenberg (see other interview) was discovering the principles of quantum mechanics, Erwin Schrödinger followed a different path to derive his wave mechanics of the atom. P.A.M. Dirac was able to show that the two theories were equivalent.
His contributions in physics also include:
In 1932 Dirac was appointed Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge. (That chair has also been held by Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking).
But in fairness, Paul Dirac did have a most incisive mind. He was once intensely impatient with this conventional dialogue:
‘Sugar, Professor Dirac?’
‘One lump or two?’
He believed the answer ‘Yes please’ implied one lump. Had he wanted two lumps he would have stated so.
History has not recorded the feelings of the poor lady, who had offered sugar in this way all her life.
Dirac’s chief pastime was solitary walks