# Paul Dirac

### Thien Nguyen Hour 3

## Childhood

## Hardships that Paul Dirac Faced During his Scientific Career

## The Collected Works of P.A.M Dirac 1924-1948 P. A. M. Dirac was one of this century's most outstanding theoretical physicists. Among many fundamental advances, he formulated a fully relativistic theory of the electron, and predicted the existence of the positron. Dirac was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1933, at the age of just thirty-one. This volume brings together for the first time all of Dirac's scientific publications from 1924 until 1948, his most productive years. Each paper is reproduced in its original form and, for the few not in English, a matching translation is provided. | ## Dirac's Equation The Dirac equation is a relativistic quantum mechanical wave equation formulated by British physicist Paul Dirac in 1928. It provides a description of elementary spin-½particles, such as electrons, consistent with both the principles of quantum mechanics and the theory of special relativity. The equation demands the existence of antiparticles and actually predated their experimental discovery. This made the discovery of the positron, the antiparticle of the electron, one of the greatest triumphs of modern theoretical physics. | ## He was not an experimentalist, but a theorist Dirac was a theorist, not an experimentalist. He successfully predicted the existence of the positron, and therefore is credited with originating the idea of "anti-matter." However, the person who found the positron in the laboratory was Carl Anderson. His most famous paper, "The Quantum Theory of the Electron," involved no physical experimentation on his part. It was an effort to explain electron behavior in a manner consistent with quantum mechanics and relativity, and was perhaps the most important contribution behind his winning the Nobel Prize for Physics a few years later. |

## The Collected Works of P.A.M Dirac 1924-1948

## Dirac's Equation

## He was not an experimentalist, but a theorist

## Awards

Royal Medal (1939)

Copley Medal (1952)

Max Planck Medal (1952)

Fellow of the Royal Society (1930)

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## Extra Credit

Paul Dirac was a mathematician and theoretical physicist. I believe that Paul Dirac is the most influential scientist in history because he first simplified a general form of quantum mechanics. He worked with Fermi to come up with Fermi-Dirac statistics. Applied Einstein's theory of relativity to quantum mechanics of the electron. Appointed to the Lucasian mathematics professorship at Cambridge University - a Chair once held by Isaac Newton. In 1933 he share a Nobel Prize with E. Schrodinger. His work was influenced by such others as: Max Born, Pascual Jordan, Werner Heisenberg, George Uhlenbeck, Samuel Goudsmit, etc.

I also believe that Paul Dirac is the most influential scientist in history because he was able to make an equation of his own. His equation provides a description of elementary spin-½particles, such as electrons, consistent with both the principles of quantum mechanics and the theory of special relativity. The equation demands the existence of antiparticles and actually predated their experimental discovery. This made the discovery of the positron, the antiparticle of the electron, one of the greatest triumphs of modern theoretical physics.

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120207121332AAzBXbu

https://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Dirac_equation.html

## Citations

"Dirac Equation." *Princeton University*. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2014.

"How Did Paul Dirac Become Famous?" *Yahoo! Answers*. Yahoo!, n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2014.

"Paul Dirac." *Wikipedia*. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2014.

"The Collected Works of P. A. M. Dirac: Volume 1." *Google Books*. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2014.

"What Are Some of Paul Dirac Experiments?" *Yahoo! Answers*. Yahoo!, n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2014.