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Paul Dirac

theoretical physicist

Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac, OM (August 8, 1902 in Bristol – October 20, 1984 in Tallahassee) was an English physicist.

Paul Dirac
Dirac 4.jpg
Dirac, photographed in 1933
Born Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac
(1902-08-08)8 August 1902
Bristol, England
Died 20 October 1984(1984-10-20) (aged 82)
Tallahassee, Florida, US
Residence United Kingdom
Nationality Swiss (1902–19)
British (1919–84)
Alma mater
Known for
Scientific career
Fields Theoretical physics
Doctoral advisor Ralph Fowler
Doctoral students
Influences John Stuart Mill[5][6]

Dirac's father came from the French-speaking part of Switzerland.

Dirac worked out a formulation of quantum mechanics, which includes Erwin Schrödinger's wave mechanics and Werner Heisenberg's matrix mechanics in 1926. In 1928 he found the Dirac equation and he found out that spin in quantum mechanics is an effect of relativity. The Dirac equation allowed Dirac to predict the existence of antimatter, which is the opposite of matter.

In 1933 he won the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Dirac was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics chair at Cambridge University from 1932 until his retirement in 1969. He was Professor of Physics at Florida State University from 1972 until his death in 1984.[7]



  1. "Nobel Bio". Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  2. Bhabha, Homi Jehangir (1935). On cosmic radiation and the creation and annihilation of positrons and electrons. (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. Template:EThOS. 
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named mathgene.
  4. Polkinghorne, John Charlton (1955). Contributions to quantum field theory. (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. Template:EThOS. 
  5. Farmelo, Graham (2009). The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Quantum Genius. Faber and Faber. ISBN 9780571222780. 
  6. Cassidy, David C. (2010). "Graham Farmelo. The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom". Isis (University of Chicago Press) 101: 661–661. doi:10.1086/657209. "Farmelo also discusses, across several chapters, the influences of John Stuart Mill...". 
  7. "DigiTool Results Full". Retrieved January 30, 2012. 

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