Cover image for Paul Dirac : the man and his work
Paul Dirac : the man and his work
Pais, Abraham, 1918-2000.
Publication Information:
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
xv, 124 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Paul Dirac: aspects of his life and work / Abraham Pais -- Antimatter / Maurice Jacob -- The monopole / David I. Olive -- The Dirac equation and geometry / Michael F. Atiyah.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QC16.D57 P38 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



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.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This book is a collection of four lectures and a brief memorial address given in conjunction with the dedication of a plaque in Westminster Abbey commemorating the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Paul A. M. Dirac. Of the four lectures, only the first and longest is at a level that could be fully appreciated by a generally knowledgeable scientist or science student; it includes personal as well as professional reminiscences of Dirac's life. The second and third lectures begin with general introductions but progress to a level appropriate to active researchers in particle physics, while the final lecture on mathematical physics is at a strictly professional level. 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. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. D. B. Moss Boston University

Table of Contents

PrefacePeter Goddard
Dirac memorial addressStephen Hawking
1 Paul Dirac: aspects of his life and workAbraham Pais
2 AntimatterMaurice Jacob
3 The monopoleDavid Olive
4 The Dirac equation and geometryMichael F. Atiyah