The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Quantum Genius

The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Quantum Genius
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Published: 12/24/2009
'A monumental achievement - one of the great scientific biographies.' Michael Frayn 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 leading pioneers of the greatest revolution in twentieth-century science: quantum mechanics. The youngest theoretician ever to win the Nobel Prize for Physics, he was also pathologically reticent, strangely literal-minded and legendarily unable to communicate or empathize. Through his…

Thorough biography of pioneering quantum physicist Paul Dirac - regarded by his peers as one of the greatest brains of the modern age, but somewhat lacking in personal PR skills. I found it utterly gripping as not only a window into the lives of his peers & mentors (Ernest Rutherford, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, Erwin Schrodinger, and soforth), but also a fascinating glimpse into life in the early-mid 20th century. Can you imagine that Dirac more or less discovered antimatter purely by thinking his way around some equations and theorising its existence to make the equations work?! And also, by total chance, it transpired that he was born & grew up in Bristol!