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Cambridge University Press, Oct 26, 1995 - Science - 1310 pages
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. Also included here are reset versions of Dirac's hitherto unpublished wartime research papers. This comprehensive collection will provide a valuable and convenient reference source, and will allow students of the history of science to trace the development of the ideas of one of the founders of quantum mechanics.
 

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Contents

SYMBOLIC ALGEBRA OF STATES AND OBSERVABLES
7
EIGENVALUES AND EIGENSTATES 35
13
REPRESENTATIONS OF STATES AND OBSERVABLES 55
22
VT EQUATIONS OF MOTION AND QUANTUM CONDITIONS 92
31
ELEMENTARY APPLICATIONS 117
39
caused by a Perturbation 52 The Perturbation considered
55
The golden years
61
SYSTEMS CONTAINING SEVERAL SIMILAR PARTICLES 198
62
Electrons and Positrons by Themselves
292
Conclusion
296
The Interaction
298
The Physical Variables
302
Difficulties of the Theory
306
INDEX
311
THEORY OF RADIATION 218
463
CONTENTS
475

Vn PERTURBATION THEORY
167
COLLISION PROBLEMS
186
SYSTEMS CONTAINING SEVERAL SIMILAR PARTICLES
207
THEORY OF RADIATION
225
The Motion of a Free Electron
260
Existence of the Spin
262
Transition to Polar Variables
265
The FineStructure of the Energylevels of Hydrogen
267
Theory of the Positron
270
FIELD THEORY
273
QUANTUM ELECTRODYNAMICS
276
Quantum Conditions for the Electromagnetic Potentials
278
Relativistic Form of the Quantum Conditions
280
The Supplementary Conditions
282
The Schrodinger Dynamical Variables
283
Interaction of Field and Particles
286
The Supplementary Conditions
287
The Quantization of Electron Waves
291
QUANTUM ELECTRODYNAMICS 276
477
Relativistic Notation 275
642
magnetic field
649
RELATIVITY THEORY OF THE ELECTRON 238
657
The Electromagnetic Field in the Absence of Matter 276
693
The Supplementary Conditions 285
818
Electrons and Positrons by Themselves 292
884
1939J La theorie de lelectron et du champ electromagnetique
925
methods
1003
INDEX OF DEFINITIONS 299
1075
Classical Electrodynamics in Hamiltonian Form 289
1096
Passage to the Quantum Theory 296
1105
the oblate spheroid hemisphere and oblate hemispheroid
1129
The Physical Variables 302
1191
INDEX 313
1214
Discussion of the Transverse Waves 306
1226
Complete bibliography of the works of P A M Dirac
1299
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About the author (1995)

Paul Dirac, a British theoretical physicist, was a central figure in the development of quantum electrodynamics. For example, he introduced important concepts, such as magnetic monopole and electron spin, and predicted the existence of antiparticles. Dirac was well known for his creativity as a graduate student in the 1920s. After reading Werner Heisenberg's first paper on relativity in 1925, for example, he promptly devised a more general form of the theory. The next year, he formulated Wolfgang Pauli's exclusion principle in terms of quantum mechanics. Specifically, he formulated useful statistical rules for particles that obey the Pauli exclusion principle. He received his Ph.D. in physics from Cambridge University in 1926. Dirac's most important contribution occurred in 1928, when he joined special relativity to quantum theory. His theory of the electron permitted scientists to calculate its spin and magnetic moment and to predict the existence of positively charged electrons, or positrons. (Positrons were observed in 1932.) In 1933 Dirac shared the Nobel Prize in physics with Erwin Schrodinger for his theory of the electron and prediction of the positron. Dirac's theoretical considerations in predicting the positron were sufficiently general to apply to all particles. This constituted an argument for the existence of antimatter. In later years, Dirac worked on "large-number coincidences," or relationships that appear to exist between some cosmological constants. He also taught mathematics at Cambridge University from 1932 until 1969. From 1968, when he retired from Cambridge, until his death in 1984, Dirac was a professor at the University of Florida in Tallahassee.